{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade.

Page 1

GNI mag

THE LOCAL HOMOCULTURAL MAGAZINE Issue 32 June / July 2018 £3.95 / €4.95

CELEB

PRIDE

RATING

> Our LGBT Rights and Milestones

SEASO

N

> Sam Callahan signs to international label > Latest AussieBum beachwear trends > The Evolution of Pride > Sean & Conor Price on their Irish tour

ALEXANDRA BURKE Her new album, staying strong, and what makes her proud.

CELEBS / FASHION / MUSIC / NEWS / REVIEWS / MOVIES / FITNESS / HOME / TRAVEL / FOOD / REAL LIFE


Lunns.com


Trade in, trade up or buy a previously owned watch of distinction The Pre-Owned Collection at Lunn’s is a range of previously owned prestige watches. The collection has been selected for its quality and character by our expert buyers. Each watch has been restored to pristine condition ready for you to wear and enjoy. The Pre-Owned Collection offers you the opportunity to own a watch of distinction, at the right price, with a one year guarantee.


EARLY EVENING MENU THREE COURSES £21.50 SUNDAY TO THURSDAY 5PM—7PM BULLITTHOTEL.COM


Proudly supporting the LGBT+ Community this Pride season across Ireland and our patrons from around the world 30-32 Bank Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland (City Centre)

028 9024 6058 | www.kellyscellars.com | kieran@kellyscellars.com | www.facebook.com/kellys.cellars


Mortgages

Helping first time buyers get a foot on the ladder n n

5% deposit mortgages Money gifted from family members accepted as a source of your deposit

Visit santander.co.uk

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE All applications are subject to status and lending criteria. The amount we’ll lend you depends on your individual circumstances, type of property and the amount you borrow e.g. we may need a bigger deposit if you’re buying a flat or new build property. Santander UK plc. Registered Office: 2 Triton Square, Regent’s Place, London, NW1 3AN, United Kingdom. Registered Number 2294747. Registered in England and Wales. www.santander.co.uk. Telephone 0800 389 7000. Calls maybe recorded or monitored. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Our Financial Services Register number is 106054. You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA’s website www.fca.org.uk/register. Santander and the flame logo are registered trademarks. ACRM 3916 JUN 18 H


AS S EEN ON

Be the toast of Belfast An open-air gathering meets a sight-seeing cycle tour. Saddle up for a unique party around the streets of Belfast

Book Online:

weetoasttours.com Call: 07591593441    


GNI mag

27

MANAGING DIRECTOR Tony Day OPERATIONS & DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Daniel May daniel@gnimag.com SPECIAL THANKS TO Gary Campion / Martin Kearney / Alicia Perry / Micky Murray / Nora Calder / Alexandra Burke / :PM / Sam Callahan / Sean & Conor Price / Aussiebum / Jamie Beard / My Lost Uncle / Anthony Rice / Laura Firby / Gavin Rennick / John & Martin / Tony McKeever / Gavyn Andrews

GNI MAG is published by: Lamb Promotions Ltd 339 Albertbridge Road Belfast, BT5 4PY Telephone | 028 9045 5690 Website | gnimag.com

All submissions to GNI are made on the basis of permission to publish the submission in GNI and its licensed editions worldwide. In the case of a picture selection, the editor’s decision is final. Any material sent is at the owner’s risk and although every care is taken neither Lamb Promotions or its agents shall be liable for loss or damage. We take great care to make sure all elements of GNI are accurate. However we accept no liabilty for any misprints that appear in this magazine. You should seek professional advice prior to following any advice offered in this publication. Any opions expressed are those of the writers and not those of GNI MAG or Lamb Promotions Ltd. Lamb Promotions Ltd 2015

@gnimag

@ gni@lambpromotions.com @GNImag #TeamGNI /gnimag

26 89

38


contents Have you got all your rainbow regalia? RIGHTS AND MILESTONES Taking a look at our importand LGBT rights and milestones.

LIFE & STYLE

68 START

RECOMMENDED
 Marty tells us about the best entertainment over the next month or so. ALICIA PERRY Talking about her role at Trans Pride NI. MICKY MURRAY Do you know your LGBT history? NORA CALDER Her first Pride. ROUND UP LGBT stories from across the globe. ALEXANDRA BURKE The new album, her stage career and much more. :PM Are they the new 1D? SAM CALLAHAN No question was out of limits. SEAN & CONOR PRICE Straight off the X-Factor tour, what’s next for them? GADGETS Taking a look at the latest offerings from Sony.

FASHION Beach wear from AussieBum MEET THE ARTIST Jamie Beard tells us about his work..

FASHION My Lost Uncle showcase their latest trends. FITNESS Five easy tips REAL BODIES Laura and Anthony talk about their bodies. FOOD We check out Buba in Belfast. HOMES How to get some light into the darkest room. TREAT YO SELF Daniel took a spa day to himself. TRAVEL Gavyn tells us what to get up to in Greece. BIG DAY John and Martin let us in on their wedding day. COMING OUT Tony tells us his story.

THE PRIDE ISSUE

TRANS PRIDE NI The first ever Trans Pride NI took place in June. EVOLUTION OF PRIDE Taking us back to where it all began. PRIDE UK & IRELAND The dates you need to know. PRIDE FROM AN OUTSIDER What do random folk on the streets think about Pride? PRIDE STUFF

58

36 34


ALEXANDRA BURKE:

She’s a long way from X Factor, three albums and a successful stage career. PAGE 27

:PM:

These fresh faced lads are making waves, many comparing them to 1D. PAGE 34

SAM CALLAHAN:

Talks frankly about his music, that online video and much more. PAGE 36

START!


Recommended Marty Kearney

SHARP OBJECTS I love a good Amy Adams film but I think I’m going to love a great Amy Adams TV series even more and this one has plenty of reasons to get excited, not only does it star Amy Adam’s but it costars the magnificent Patricia Clarkson. It is based on Gone Girl Writer Gillian Flynn’s Novel of the same name, It is produced by the same producer as last year’s Oscar nominated horror Get Out and each episode will be directed Jean-Marc Vallee who directed Big little lies one of the best TV shows from last year. With all that going for it it’s sure to be epic. Apparently it’s only a limited series but sure they said that about big little lies and look what’s happening there is currently in production on its second season and Meryl Streep is set to appear in this season. Amy Adams will play Camille Parker a crime reporter fresh out of a mental ward for self-harm who returns to her hometown to her estranged mother and to investigate the murder of two small children. This is to be Adams grittiest role to date, I Love all her work and cant wait to see her on a weekly basis. Sharp Object will Air later in the summer.

OCEAN’S 8 Ok so I’m going to name some names and then tell you how I feel after them. Sandra Bullock - love love love love, Cate Blanchett - love love, Anne Hathaway - love love love, Mindy Kaling - love, Sarah Paulson - love love love, Helena Bonham Carter - love and Rihanna - sorry but never really been a fan! but that said all these power houses will star in this summer’s Oceans 8. A spin off from the oceans 11 trilogy which starred George Clooney. Bullock will star as Debbie Ocean (the sister of Danny Ocean played by Clooney who WILL NOT appear in this movie.) who assembles an all-female crew to pull of the heist of the century. I’ve no doubt in my mind this is going to be a huge hit, I love everything Sandra Bullock does and it will be great to see American Horror Story’s Sarah Paulson on the big screen I haven’t seen her up there since 12 years a slave. Making cameos in the movie are Anna Wintour, Katie Holmes, Kim Kardashian her younger sister Kylie and Dakota Fanning also has a role in the movie with all those gorgeous women all in one movie this will be #GIRLPOWER at its best. Ocean’s 8 is out 8th June.

SENSE 8 I Love this show and I can’t even begin to explain what it’s about without sounding cheesy only other than it’s about human connection, love and unfortunately this is the End it was cancelled after 2 amazing short seasons only to be revived after online polls and web pages started so the fans got a good bye in the style a feature movie, a double final episode if you will. The representation of the LGBT community in this show is inspiring and I’m in awe at the writers and actors who bring it to life. It will make you want to become part of a cluster and you will find yourself looking at “I am also a we” tattoos if you are anything like me. I will be sad to see this show end but I do live in hope the final will be watched by millions and Netflix will give it another go.

12 | GNIMAG.COM

GET

FREE TO JOIN

TRA REDUCED TICKET PRICES Proud to be a LGBT friendly venue

FIND OUT MORE...

CINEMAS.CO.UK


MAMMA MIA!

It’s hard to believe that Mamma Mia the movie was released ten years ago. Where has that decade gone? I remember going to see it and coming out in such a great form I wanted to go out and be a dancing queen and I’m not even a huge ABBA fan, it was just a great feel good movie. Mamma Mia 2 will follow Amanda Seyfrieds Character a now pregnant Sophie who runs her mother Donna’s hotel. Helping out is scene stealing duo Tanya and Rosie played by The Good Fights Christine Baranski and loveable Julie Walters. The movie will also be part prequel as we will find out how Donna (the younger version played by lily James) came to own the hotel and how she met each of Sophie’s dads, Pierce Bronson, Stellan Starsgard and Colin Firth. Sadly Meryl Streep’s role looks to be reduced but do not fear as living legend Cher will be appearing as Sophie’s estranged grandmother and that should more or less make up for the lack of Ms. Streep. Hopefully this will be as feel good as the first and wither you’re an ABBA fan or not this will be a great way to spend a summer evening. Make a night of it, go in a group and head out afterwards. Mamma Mia 2. Here we go again is out 20th July.

GNIMAG.COM | 13

GET

FREE TO JOIN

COLLECT POINTS • PRIORITY BOOKING

*

TRA COLLECT POINTS

Proud to be a LGBT friendly venue

FIND OUT MORE...

CINEMAS.CO.UK


HEREDITARY Plot wise I’m not too sure what this movie is about but the posters alone have gripped my attention and upon doing research and watching the trailer it looks as scary AF. It has been called the scariest movie of the year, critics have gave it rave reviews and it has 100% rating score Rotten Tomatoes. The Movie stars the awesome Toni Collette and Ann Dowd who plays the harrowing aunt Lydia in The Handmaids Tale. It’s hard to get a really scary movie these days hopefully this one will keep us up at night. Hereditary is out now

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP SPOLER ALERT! Read at your own risk. I’m still not over that ending of Avengers: Infinity war half the population along with half of earths mightiest heroes gone with a snap of Thanos fingers and unfortunately the next two Marvel movies are set before the events of Infinity war. Captain Marvel which is out next march and this summer’s Ant-Man and the Wasp so don’t be disappointed if we don’t get any answers. I believe that this is Marvels intention and we will have the payoff we deserve. When we last seen Paul Rudd’s Ant Man he was jailed for teaming up with Captain America in Civil war. Now under house arrest he must team up with Hope and Hank van Dyne to face a new threat from the villainess Ghost. I love how Marvel are introducing female antagonists as Cate Blanchett killed it as Hela in the latest Thor movie. I’m excited to see Evangeline Lilly suit up as the wasp and by the looks of the trailer this really is her show but what I’m most excited about is that Michelle Pfeiffer will also suit up as the original Wasp Hope’s mom Janet. She also killed it playing the most memorable and iconic Catwoman to date. To be honest Ant-Man was one of my least favorite marvel movies but with a female bad guy, Wasp getting in on the action and Michelle Pfeiffer appearing I’m really excited about this sequel. Ant-Man and the Wasp is out later this summer.

14 | GNIMAG.COM

GET

FREE TO JOIN

TRA PRIORITY BOOKING

*

*Selected shows

Proud to be a LGBT friendly venue

FIND OUT MORE...

CINEMAS.CO.UK


COBRA KAI Did you ever wonder what happed to Daniel son or what became of the school bully Johnny Lawrence? No not really? Me either… but now you can find out as the Karaite Kid saga continues. The story follows Johnny Lawrence who is a down and out and with a little money from his step father he opens up a Cobra Kai dojo that gets the attention of bullied high school student leading Johnny to be his sensei, teaching the student unconventional ways of defending himself but it also turns out Johnny estranged son works for Daniel Laurso who is a successful business and family man. These two mortal enemies soon bump heads and that famous feud is once again reignited. Cobra kai is better than it actually should be it takes the story of the karate kid and gives it many twists and turns a love triangle and many moments of comedy and heart that it is so easy to watch that I had it binged in one sitting. It ends on a seen that one coming cliffhanger but season 2 has already been confirmed so we just need to wait and see how this rivalry plays out.

KILLING EVE Oh how I’ve missed Sandra Ho on my screen (do you see what I did there) Sandra makes her TV come back in this stylish and a lot of the time hilarious spy thriller. Killing Eve is based on the Villanelle novels. Ho Plays Eve Polasti a desk bound MI5 agent who get promted to MI6 to help track down a psychotic assassin Villanelle played by Jodie Comer who appeared in E4s my big fat diary. As great as Sandra Ho is it’s Jodie Comer who steals the show. She plays the psychotic killer sweet and innocent yet in a brutal way that you can’t help but root for her to succeed in her killings. The series is very dry witted, funny and leaves each episode on a cliffhanger. The supporting cast do a great job as well. Kim Bodnia plays Villanelles handler and is very attractive in a sexy Santa clause kind of way. And our Irish sisters Fiona Shaw and Susan Lunch also appear. It only has 8 episodes and you will be left wanting more but don’t worry as more is coming as season 2 has already been giving the go ahead. Killing Eve airs on BBC America and will be on BBC later this summer.

GNIMAG.COM | 15

GET

FREE TO JOIN

TRA REDUCED TICKET PRICES Proud to be a LGBT friendly venue

FIND OUT MORE...

CINEMAS.CO.UK


EVERY FRIDAY 2 x TICKETS 2 x SMALL DRINKS 1 x MEDIUM POPCORN 1 x PARKING

£20 ODYSSEYCINEMAS.CO.UK

(VALID FOR MEMBERS ONLY)

2 TICKETS AND FREE CAR PARKING FOR JUST £10.00

2 for

£10 TUESDAYS ONLY

TERMS & CONDITIONS APPLY


COLUMN__ ALICIA V PERRY

Bursting with Pride.

Alicia V Perry SATURDAY 2ND JUNE SAW the first ever

education, healthcare, employment, marriage and

who stand in the way of equality I have this to

fight against Transphobia continues. It was my

lives being lost or taken in our society because

for debate, it is our fundamental human right;

Trans Pride event in Ireland take place as the

great honour to host the event and join a great

line-up of speakers. It was truly amazing to see

indeed our basic right to life. There are too many of the discrimination we face. Across the world,

right to ask us about the state of our genitals.

“Across the world, including here in Ireland and the UK, the TNBI community are still being policed as to where we can go, what facilities we can use, etc., that the rudimentary need to pee becomes a weapon to attack us with, to humiliate us with, to degrade us with and to intimidate us with.”

needs to stop now!

including here in Ireland and the UK, the TNBI

and discriminated against for far too long -

can go, what facilities we can use, etc., that the

so many people come out to demand equality or

show their solidarity with members of the TNBI Community. To be in such great company made

me very emotional indeed and I did find it hard to hold back the tears listening to the inspiring words of speakers like Kellie Maloney, Gerry

Carroll, Megan Fearon. It was such a positive and uplifting day that I thought I would share my speech with you here.

“I didn’t realise who I was, until I stopped being

who I wasn’t; and that took guts and courage. I’m sure there are many people here today, that just being here is a huge accomplishment. For our

community, sometimes just going across the door can be an tremendous challenge that is all too

often easy to resist. Hiding away or blending into the shadows becomes a preference for us, for a

want of a better, safer life. When the majority of jokes made at the expense of trans people centre on “men wearing dresses” or “men who want

their penises cut off ” that is not transphobia, but

something for more serious, it is trans-misogyny. I am quite distraught by the fact that so many

people, who are neither medical professionals, experts nor TNBI themselves, would require all of the gory details regarding our physical

transformations, or would feel that they have any This ‘invasion of privacy’ needs to stop and it

The TNBI community have been treated badly this must change. And if you don’t know what TNBI stands for it is Trans, Non-Binary and

Intersexed, people. Get used to hearing TNBI because we aint going nowhere! When aint

going NOWHERE. Across the world the TNBI community are still being denied equal rights to

community are still being policed as to where we

say. Our equality, everyone’s equality, is not up don’t let anyone, anyone tell you different! We

deserve to be treated with respect. We deserve

to be treated fairly and we deserve to be allowed to exist. To those who are Trans, Non-Binary and Intersexed I want to say to you - you are

not alone! Your struggle for the end to violence and discrimination, is a shared struggle. Today, I stand with my TNBI brothers, sisters and

siblings and I call upon all the great people of Ireland to stand with us too.

Our cry becomes so desperate that sometimes all we require is mercy.”

She asked me to kill the spider.

She asked me to kill the spider.

Instead, I get the most

peaceful weapons I can find.

I take a cup & a napkin,

I catch the spider, put it outside

and allow it to walk away.

If I am ever caught in the wrong place

at the wrong time, just being alive

and not bothering anyone

I hope I am greeted

with the same kind

of mercy.

On Saturday 2nd June an annual tradition was

born and long may it continue. On Saturday 2nd June history was made by the people of one of

the most progressive and inclusive countries in the world, I love you Ireland!!

rudimentary need to pee becomes a weapon to

attack us with, to humiliate us with, to degrade

us with and to intimidate us with. BUT, I’m not intimidated, are you? Don’t be intimidated!

To those people who are accustomed to privilege, equality becomes oppression. To those people

This is an opinon piece from the columnist/contributor and not the opinion of GNI MAG/Lamb Promotions Ltd.

GNIMAG.COM | 17


Opening Summer 2018 Fun-filled days and glittering City nights! City Centre Location 300 Bedrooms Meeting Rooms Seahorse Bar & Restaurant The Grand CafĂŠ

Beautifully simple. Simply beautiful.

BOOK NOW Call 028 9047 1066 or visit grandcentralhotelbelfast.com


COLUMN__ MICKY MURRAY

Why don’t we have a straight Pride march?

Micky Murray

PRIDE SEASON HAS BEGUN, WE seen an incredible amount of people take to the streets in Belfast and in Derry/Londonderry at the beginning of June for the March for Equality, and soon we will start to see the inevitable “Why do you need a Pride march? We don’t have a straight Pride march” messages on social media. Pride began in 1970 as a protest, a protest against homophobia and transphobia, a protest for rights and representation, and a protest to be seen as nothing more than equal citizens. We’ve come a long way since 1970 in regards to gaining certain rights and protections in various parts of the world. As an LGBT activist Harvey Milk is one of my greatest heroes, but it still shocks me that so many LGBT people are completely unaware of his life, and the work that he done. Recently, I was in a gay bar in Glasgow, the Polo Lounge, proudly wearing my Harvey Milk t-shirt that my friend had bought be for Christmas, when a young guy in the smoking area asked me if I was wearing a Milk from Ru Paul’s Drag Race t-shirt. Not being a fan of Ru Paul, I know shock, I wasn’t aware of who Milk from Ru Paul’s Drag Race was, but I was even more shocked that the guy knew more about Milk from Ru Paul than he did about Harvey Milk. For those of you who don’t know who Harvey Milk was there’s a great movie ‘Milk’ written by Dustin Lance Black, the husband of Tom Daley which I highly recommend, it’s even on Netflix or if you’re more of a reader, like I am, then ‘The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life & Times of Harvey Milk’ by Randy Shilts may be more to your taste. Milk was an LGBT rights activist in 1970’s California, he ran for election and, after numerous attempts, he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 and sworn into office in January 1978.

Although Milk’s political career was short he led the campaign against the ‘Briggs Initiative’, otherwise known as California Proposition 6, which made it possible, and mandatory, to fire teachers and public school employees who were either gay or supportive of gay rights, similar rights revoking laws were being passed all over the United States. John Briggs who was the state legislator behind Proposition 6 repeatedly told the public that ‘gay teachers wanted to recruit children’ as part of the gay agenda, to which I consider myself a proud distributor, but we all know that it wasn’t the sexuality of our teachers that made us gay or straight.

effected by its passing.

It was now eight years after the first Pride parade and hundreds of thousands were taking the streets to protest Proposition 8, something that less than a decade previous would have been not only unheard of, but probably quite impossible due to the fear of being an out queer person.

So, when you’re faced with the inevitable “ Why do you need a Pride march? We don’t we have a straight Pride march ”, tell them the story of Harvey Milk, or Sylvia Rivera who was one of the first people to throw a bottle at the Stonewall Riots, or your own story. Straight people aren’t beaten and murdered for being straight. Straight people don’t have to worry about looking ‘too gay’ when their out. Straight people have never had to fight for the right to marry. It’s never been illegal to be straight. Straight people have a place in our fight for equality, and it’s beside us as allies.

Harvey was assassinated on November 27th 1978, shot in five times, including twice in the head, by another supervisor Dan White who also assassinated Mayor Moscone a few minutes earlier. Over 30,000 of people took to the streets and marched to City Hall for a candle lit vigil in Harvey’s memory. White was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and served just 5 of his 7 ¾ years sentence. The sentence created mass violence on the streets which were then known as the White Night riots.

“Straight people aren’t beaten and murdered for being straight. Straight people don’t have to worry about looking ‘too gay’ when their out. Straight people have never had to fight for the right to marry. It’s never been illegal to be straight.”

Milk stated that “Even if gays lose in these initiatives, people are still being educated…the entire country was educated about homosexuality to a greater extent than ever before.”

When it came to polling day Proposition 6 lost by more than a million votes, because queer people came out to their parents, their friends, their employers, and the LGBT rights movement became personal to those who wouldn’t have been

This is an opinon piece from the columnist/contributor and not the opinion of GNI MAG/Lamb Promotions Ltd.

GNIMAG.COM | 19


u o y s Wishe

E D I R P Y P P A aH FESTIVAL #BoojumIsProud

boojummex.com


COLUMN__ NORA CALDER

My first Pride.

Nora Calder When I first joined Plenty of Fish in July 2012 I had my heart set on finding Mr Right... After way too many awkward exchanges of small talk I realised Plenty of Fish could only supply me with Mr Wrong. This strange realisation went far beyond feeling unlucky in love, rather I began to comprehend that I’d sooner find love if I was searching for Mrs Right. As a Youth Worker in a Church funded youth centre I knew someone stumbling across my photo on an online dating site looking for a woman would be an absolute shit storm, and so on 29th July 2012 I set myself little lesbian profile up with no photo. (We all imagine those with no photos are creepy old men in their basement...) Searching through Plenty of Fish looking for a woman was a much more exhilarating task. It didn’t take long before I came across a profile, ‘Smiler89’ or something of the sort was the username. The photo revealed the cutest little face I’ve ever seen. The profile content was nothing out of the ordinary with the exception of a photo taken of her camel toe. Wow. Wow. Wow. If you haven’t already worked it out, I wasn’t sat staring at a photo of her genitals. Smiler had a camel tattooed on her toe. This I found quite amusing, not something I would have done myself mind. Opposites attract. There weren’t many profiles that caught my eye and so I decided to send Smiler a message, my ice breaker, the camel toe, naturally. Whilst I sat in Belfast waiting eagerly for a response to my message, Smiler was sat in Comber, considering disregarding the message because like I said, with no profile photo I was likely to be an old man in a basement. Fate intervened. As it always does. Smiler responded and I couldn’t believe my luck. After a few exchanges she asked for some photos, still suspicious that I wasn’t a 19 year old not yet out lesbian. I trawled through some photos and as expected picked my best shots. Smiler couldn’t believe her luck. She upped her game and the messages became more frequent. Pride was scheduled for 4th August and Smiler and I had been talking every day. When she asked me to meet her for a date at Pride my stomach churned. My only experience of Pride was handing

out Christian tracts and letting those I deemed sinners know they were going to hell. After talking on the phone for hours, I realised I couldn’t let fear stand between us. (Mature Cheddar.) I felt such a connection with her and I needed to see that beautiful face in person. On the morning of Pride I got my blue chequered shirt on and drank two bottles of wine. When I arrived at Custom House Square I met a friend and continued drinking wine. I ended up drinking so much wine that Kitty Brucknell sounded like Whitney. Christ.. Smiler and I called each other countless times and tried unsuccessfully to find each other in the crowd. A trip to the dirty portaloo eventually called my name, I was about to break the seal. I came face to face with Smiler just outside the Portaloo. How romantic. I was much too drunk and she was much too sexy. (She hates that word..) We promised to wait for each other after we’d both done our business. Taking a few deep breaths I stepped out of the loo and looked around, she wasn’t there? I asked my friend had he seen her and he said that she had left. Awkward. Deflated and feeling a bit worse for wear I decided a house party was the best medicine and so my friend and I left Custom House and hit the road, well not quite, the party was five minutes away. It wasn’t long before Smiler realised the love of her life had gone and so she began to call me, incessantly. (I love that I can write what I want.) Smiler told me she’d waited and searched for me, after she begged me for long enough I decided I’d give that little button nose another chance and I ordered my taxi back to Pride. Thankfully this time finding each other was not quite as difficult. I don’t remember much of the day except giving it stacks to Kitty Brucknell draped in a rainbow flag. I’d love to say our first kiss was like something out of a fairy tale but this is Belfast, not New York. And so our first kiss was against a dirty shop shutter in the middle of town, interrupted by her sister asking her for bank card to use the ATM. My first real experience of Pride didn’t only bring me the love of my life, it brought me a

passion for standing up for people like me, young lesbians who are stuck in the closet through fear, particularly when that fear is rooted in hateful religion.

I am the colleague who helped when you were in a rush, I am the guy that gave you his seat on the bus, I am your daughters favourite teacher at school, I am the drinker sitting on the next bar stool, I am your favourite player in the famous football team, I am the counsellor to whom you let off steam. I am the soldier who you praise for being brave, I am your neighbour, every time you see me you wave. I am the doctor who could save your life today, But wait, will this change when I tell you I’m gay? I am your brother, your sister, your friend, I am your son, your daughter, your parent on whom you depend. I am a person, entitled to have the law on my side, I am a person who should never have to hide. Who gave you the right to judge the person I was made to be? I’m just the same as you, I also bleed red you see. Except this one time I won’t be the same as the rest, Because I will no longer stand for second best. I am gay and I am proud to take a stand, No freedom until we’re equal it’s not a request but a demand.

This is an opinon piece from the columnist/contributor and not the opinion of GNI MAG/Lamb Promotions Ltd.

GNIMAG.COM | 21


GNI MAG AWARDS 2018 They’re back this year, and they’re bigger than ever. Make your voice heard when the nominees are revealed for this year’s GNI MAG AWARDS. THE THIRD ANNUAL GNI MAG AWARDS are taking place this year on 9th November. Once again, during the course of the gala evening they will celebrate and honour those individuals and businesses who have made a positive contribution to our LGBT+ community. Due to the popularity of the GNI MAG AWARDS they will be taking place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast to allow for more attendees. Santander are back this year as the headline sponsor. Susan Allen, Head of Customer Interactions Santander UK quoted; “Santander is proud to be the headline sponsor for the GNI MAG Awards again this year. We are committed to supporting diversity and to creating an inclusive culture across our organisation. We believe that all employees should feel able to bring their whole selves to work and that this is only possible by helping to build a supportive working environment. Sponsoring the GNI Awards is just one of the ways in which we are showing our commitment to the LGBT+ community and supporting diversity at Santander UK.” Daniel May, GNI MAG Operations Manager said: “We are extremely proud to be able to host an event that recognises those LGBT heros and allies across the province. This is will be our third GNI MAG Awards and we are delighted once again to have the support of Santander.” Northern Ireland’s foremost LGBT charity The Rainbow Project are the charity partner for the GNI MAG AWARDS, and a percentage of each ticket sale will go directly to them. There will also be a fantastic raffle during the event which will raise further vital funds. Jayne Robinson, Sustainability Officer from The Rainbow Project stated: “It is great to be involved in the GNI Magazine Awards for the third year. More and more businesses are recognising the LGBT Community and as such it is great to have a way to recognise the support and contribution to our community all year round.” This year there will be 20 award categories including; Most Influential Local LGBT Person, Local Politician of the Year, and Business Contribution to the LGBT Community. Details on nominations and voting will be announced soon.


NEWS__ ROUND UP

ROUND UP... LATIN AMERICA HAS BECOME AN UNLIKELY LEADER IN LGBT RIGHTS In 2010, Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage, largely due to the work of LGBT activists like Esteban Paulon. Paulon, who didn’t have a partner at the time, saw this movement as a political struggle, rather than a personal one. “I fought for the law without knowing if I would ever get married or not,” said Paulon, vice president of the Argentine LGBT Federation. “But on the journey to this achievement, I met my partner.” Paulon and his partner were married three years after the law was passed—turning a national political achievement into a personal milestone they were able to celebrate with their friends and family. “If the state says that all families are equal before the law and that all families have the same worth, this inevitably has an effect on daily life and on social perception about sexual diversity,” Paulon said. “The fact of being able to access marriage is also personal.” Since 2010, more than 15,000 same-sex couples have been married in Argentina, the tenth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. The decision illustrated Latin America’s unlikely leadership in the fight for LGBT equal rights. Indeed, the focus on the US gay rights movement has overshadowed other countries where important gains have been won. Finally, Latin America is being recognized as a major leader in the global LGBT movement by both academics and major global activists groups like Human Rights Watch. Source - https://qz.com

DENMARK LAUNCHES FIRST LGBT ACTION PLAN For the first time ever, a Danish government has launched a LGBT action plan in a bid to prevent discrimination and promote equal opportunity and security for the LGBT community. The plan contains 42 initiatives and the equality minister, Eva Kjer Hansen, wants to face up and challenge a current environment that has borne alarming stats for the community – such as how one half of all Danish gay people avoid openly holding hands for fear of violence, threats or harassment. “We won’t accept that the rights of gay and transgendered people are being abused. We won’t accept that this group must generally live a worse and unsafe life,” said Hansen. “The figures we can read regarding safety, well-being and suicide are sad and too high. But it’s even worse when looking at ethnic minority groups, in which a third have thought of suicide. It speaks of a history and culture in which ignorance and intolerance fester when it comes to being gay and transgendered.” Ignorance is not bliss According to recent stats, 40 percent of gay and transgendered people are not open about their sexuality or gender identity at work, while 22 percent of new Danes believe that homosexuality is an illness. Among the 42 initiatives are improving guidance, networking opportunities and support groups, while more focus is being levelled at promoting openness and inclusion in the labour market and for LGBTs from ethnic minority groups. In terms of health, a new centre will be established with the purpose of collecting and distributing knowledge on the LGBT arena, while more information will be given to parents of children who have a variation in gender characteristics. Source - http://cphpost.dk

24 | GNIMAG.COM


IMAGE: VICTOR & HAROLD BY VANESSA RONDON

NEWS__ ROUND UP

USA PRIDE EXHHIBITIONS

NIKE STIRS CONTROVERSY BY USING A PINK TRIANGLE ON SHOES IN THEIR PRIDE COLLECTION Nike has caused controversy by using a pink triangle—most infamously used to mark gay men during the Holocaust—on its recent Pride collection, PinkNews reported. In May, the athletics brand launched its annual Pride collection. According to the release, this year’s collection features “colours and symbols that have been reclaimed and historically repurposed by the LGBTQ community.” Nike’s BETRUE collection was launched back in 2012 and has been rereleased each year as part of a mission to make sport inclusive of the LGBT community. Source - http://www.windycitymediagroup.com

During this year’s Pride month, a selection of exhibits across the US will showcase a variety of queer art from the political to the personal It was 28 June 1969 when the Stonewall riots broke out in New York City, and as police raided the Stonewall Inn gay bar on Christopher Street, it also sparked the modern LGBT rights movement, resisting against violence. In 1970, the first annual Pride month followed, along with the Christopher Street Liberation Day and the first gay pride march in American history, where hundreds marched to Central Park. Years later, Pride month continues to be a time for the LGBT community to celebrate and commemorate. This year, a series of LGBT art exhibitions are popping up, from billboards in Los Angeles to photographs of drag queens. Source - https://www.theguardian. com

GNIMAG.COM | 25


ER nt N e IN I W pend 2017 N G e nd ward I t A s Be ness si Bu

Award Winning Adult Gift Store

13ml bottle poppers

Take pride in what you use... use Flag!

We sell the best quality adult toys, underwear, lube, condoms, books, magazines and the largest range of Poppers in Ireland Open Late - 9pm - Every Night (Sun 7pm)

www.misstiquebelfast.co.uk 27 Gresham Street, Belfast, BT1 1JL


COVERSTAR__

ALEXANDRA BURKE

Alexandra Burke GNIMAG.COM | 27


COVERSTAR__ ALEXANDRA BURKE

London lass Alexandra took the nation’s hearts during the 2008 season of the x factor. After winning, her single Hallelujah broke records and became the biggest selling single of 2008. Since then she’s released 3 albums, taken on the lead rolls in the stage musicals; The Bodyguard, Sister Act, and Chess, and she’s been on our screens again on Strictly Come Dancing. Alexandra took some time out to speak to our Daniel...

28 | GNIMAG.COM

ALEXANDRA, MUSIC AND PERFORMING SEEMS TO LITERALLY BE IN YOUR BLOOD, YOU’VE BEEN SINGING AND DANCING ON STAGE SINCE YOU WERE A YOUNG CHILD, YOU WERE ON TALENT TV SHOWS AT 12 YEARS OLD, AND YOU WERE SINGING DOWN THE PHONE TO STEVIE WONDER BEFORE YOU HIT YOUR TEENS. DID YOU ALWAYS ENJOY IT OR DID YOU FEEL AN ELEMENT OF PRESSURE TO PERFORM AND PLEASE? DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU MISSED OUT ON SOME OF THE FUN PARTS OF BEING A KID? I always feel that when you are performing there is a sense of pressure, any performer will feel nervous. My mum used to say to me “you’re only as good as your last performance so make sure it’s a good one.” In that sense I would say there was that kind of pressure, to make sure you’ve left people with a smile on their faces and hopefully wanting to come back and see you again. I definitely don’t think for me that starting from such a young age personally meant that I missed out as a child because I still got to do things that normal kids do, but I’m doing more now that I’m 29 – definitely. I’m such a goofball now in my older age. But my mum definitely made sure there was a balance between learning performances, and a balance between having a normal life so to speak. Don’t get me wrong I missed out on quite a lot when I was younger growing up like playing out, and holidays were always consumed by pubs, clubs and bar mitzvah and stuff. But that was a decision I made as well, I wanted to do that because I wanted the experience of playing with a live band or being live on stage. That was always way more appealing to me than anything else. IT WAS SECOND TIME LUCKY FOR YOU ON X FACTOR AFTER NOT MAKING IT ALL THE WAY THROUGH ON YOUR FIRST TRY. HOW DID YOU FIND THE WHOLE PROCESS? I found it quite interesting because I definitely didn’t want to go back for it and had no intention of going back for it. It was actually my mum and my younger brother that forced me to do it. If it wasn’t for them, I honest to God, would not have my career. I found the second time going back even harder, even more emotional, because of how much I wanted it. I guess for me it’s a matter of, when you want something so badly you’ll do anything to get it – within reason of course. I’m really glad that the decision was made by Louis when I was sixteen to not put me through because I’ve learned so much over the past few years, and even from the age of 16 to 19 I learned so much about myself through doing live music and recording and doing stuff like that. I would never have had the chance to do that if I’d stayed on in the show – and I don’t think for a second that I’d have won the show at 16 years old.

DURING YOUR YEARS IN THE SPOTLIGHT YOU’VE GIVEN TIME AND RAISED FUNDS AND PROFILES OF MANY CHARITY PROJECTS, WHICH CHARITIES ARE CLOSE TO YOUR HEART RIGHT NOW? I’m an ambassador for World Child, also for Breast Cancer Care, and Diabetes UK. The biggest one at the moment that I’m really focusing on is my mum’s foundation called the Melissa Bell foundation. There will be more news to follow about what that’s gonna do and when that gala night will be this year. YOU TOOK A BIT OF A BATTERING DURING YOUR TIME ON STRICTLY WHERE YOU WERE AND IN A RECENT INTERVIEW YOU SUGGESTED THAT SOMETIMES ‘AUTOPILOT TAKES OVER’, AND THAT WE SHOULDN’T BE AFRAID OR ASHAMED TO SAY WHEN THINGS AREN’T OK. THAT’S OFTEN A DIFFICULT THING TO DO WHEN OTHER PEOPLE HAVE EXPECTATIONS OF YOU, WHAT’S YOUR MANTRA NOW AND HOW DO YOU PUT IT INTO PRACTICE? For me it’s about taking one day at a time and taking it as it comes. At the end of the day I’ve always been quite open to talking the truth about what I suffer with, and that’s really bad anxiety. I really believe that so many people don’t speak about what they’re going through, and it’s hard because I know that sometime’s you’re not sure who to trust, sometimes you’re not sure who you can lean on, but I think for me – if I can be that person who shows other people to find someone you can lean on in your darkest hour, and to have hope and faith because everyone goes through ups and downs. It’s about finding that balance and trying to stay positive in order to get through each day. We are only given one life and we may as well try our best and be happy. SO, CHESS THE MUSICAL. YOU TOOK ON ONE OF THE KEY ROLES IN THE REPRISAL OF A MUSICAL THAT IS QUITE OFTEN REFERRED TO LIKE MARMITE - YOU EITHER LOVE IT OR HATE IT (WE TOTES LOVE IT BTW - ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK, I KNOW HIM SO WELL: PURE CLASSICS). YOU PLAY THE ROLL OF A WIFE WHO’S DESERTED BY HER HUSBAND WHO LEAVES HER A SINGLE MOTHER WHILE HE FOLLOWS HIS DREAM. WERE YOU NERVOUS ABOUT TAKING ON THE ROLE AND HOW’S IT BEEN? I was very very nervous to take on Chess. For me, because I was not born when this show was first done in the UK I actually didn’t know about Chess, so without doing any research I had a call with the director and within five minutes of that call I knew it was the right thing to do and the right role to take. Emotionally it was quite difficult for me to execute


COVERSTAR__ ALEXANDRA BURKE

I know there are so many people in this community that give their time to other people that they forget themselves in the process – it’s important to remember that you are human too,

GNIMAG.COM | 29


COVERSTAR__ ALEXANDRA BURKE the role because I had to put myself in a really weird mental place where I had to think about how my mum felt when my mum and dad split up and she was left with the kids. I think that’s what gave me the raw emotion, at times I’d just burst out into tears on stage until I got to the point where I learnt to really control it. It was a very special role to play, for me it was such a massive opportunity to be part of the first ever revival of Chess and I’m just really sad that it was only on for five weeks. Elaine Paige came to see it twice which was a privilege for us all to have her present, and working with Michael Ball was just extraordinary – he’s a wonderful person with a massive talent and I learnt a lot just from being a part of this show and this project, and actually doing something completely out of my comfort zone. PRIDE SEASON IS UPON US ACROSS THE UK AND IRELAND, AND WE KNOW YOUR PLAYING AT KREMLIN (BELFAST) THIS YEAR. WHAT MAKES YOU PROUD AND WHAT’S YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT SO FAR? The proudest moment for me was having my mum see me live my dream, knowing the amount she sacrificed to get me to where I am today, I’m proud that my mum pushed me to go for the X Factor, and then actually winning it. Her belief in me makes me so proud because she never gave up on me and there were several times where I wanted to give up on myself – and nearly have done – she was the one solid person in my life that never ever entertained that idea or ever gave up on me and my talent. YOU’RE NO STRANGER TO PLAYING LGBT VENUES AND PRIDE FESTIVALS, AND YOU HAVE A DEDICATED LGBT FOLLOWING. HOW DO YOU USE YOUR POSITION TO ENCOURAGE YOUNG LGBT FANS AND PROMOTE LGBT INCLUSIVENESS AND RIGHTS? For me it’s all about supporting one another regardless of your skin colour, regardless of sexuality, or whether you’re female or male – it doesn’t matter. Everyone is human at the end of the day and everyone has feelings. I feel God’s given me this amazing position to speak up and be vocal about things and I would never use it for anything but good, anything to encourage or inspire people to be comfortable in their own skin, to realise that life is there to be lived regardless of who you are. We should be there to support one another because that’s what life is about. ALTHOUGH ON THE SURFACE AND LOOKING AT YOUR LIFE AS AN OUTSIDER IT SEEMS PERFECT, BUT LIKE THE REST OF US YOU HAVE STRUGGLES, WOULD YOU HAVE A MESSAGE FOR OUR COMMUNITY ABOUT OVERCOMING ADVERSITY AND KEEPING YOUR HEAD HELD HIGH?

30 | GNIMAG.COM

I think the one thing that people need to remember to do is to put things into perspective. Everyone is going through something, and people don’t know anyone else’s story. If you can try to take a moment to yourself every single day to not get caught up in the bulls**t, just to take a moment to yourself mentally that will help you overcome so so much because you’re giving time back to yourself. I know there are so many people in this community that give their time to other people that they forget themselves in the process – it’s important to remember that you are human too, you have feelings as well, and to give yourself something back by taking ten minutes a day to meditate or do whatever. My thing is to take ten minutes to meditate in the day and remember that actually I’m breathing, I’m alive, and I’m very very lucky. If you remember your blessings, count them and stay humble then things in your life should fall into place.

“... [it] was basically me putting my heart out on a silver platter for everyone to hear and feel. It got to a point where I just didn’t want to sugarcoat anything anymore.” MANY OF YOUR SONGS ARE ABOUT HONESTY AND STRUGGLES, IS THERE A PARTICULAR SONG OF YOURS THAT YOU FEEL COULD SPECIFICALLY BE TAKEN TO HEART BY OUR LGBT COMMUNITY? It depends what people are going through at the time, I can only hope that when people do listen to my songs, that in one way shape or form that they can either relate to it or that it can help them to become stronger. YOUR LATEST ALBUM ‘THE TRUTH IS ‘ FEELS HEARTFELT, STRIPPED BACK, AND OFTEN BITTERSWEET. TELL US ALL ABOUT IT... The Truth Is was basically me putting my heart out on a silver platter for everyone to hear and feel. It got to a point where I just didn’t want to sugarcoat anything anymore. There are some heartbreaking songs on there, but there are some really happy songs on that album too. It was just a mixture of what I was going through and am still currently going through. I

thought it was important to be honest with my fans. I’ve been lucky enough that I haven’t stopped working for the last ten years since the X Factor, the support I’ve had from my fans has been out of this world so I felt like I owed it to them to be completely honest. To show them a side to me that maybe they’ve never seen before, actually a side that I’ve always been scared to show. Growing up hopefully you become more mature and comfortable in your own skin, and that takes time – it’s definitely taken me nearly ten years to get there. The Truth Is album is me wearing my heart on my sleeve and just being completely honest. IS THERE A TRACK ON THERE THAT YOU’RE PARTICULARLY PROUD OF, OR THAT TELLS A STORY THAT LEAVES YOU WITH GOOSEBUMPS? Quite a few. The Truth Is is the new single and it’s a song I wrote for my mum last year, and she heard that song as well, so it’s close to my heart. Also what I’m proud of is that I was able to talk about certain things – there’s a song called Believe, and one called Without You that I wrote as well. Those songs I was so scared to put on the album but I found the strength to do it and thought, well I’ve gotta let people know what I’ve gone through and hopefully it inspires other people to keep strong. MUSIC, STAGE, ENDORSEMENTS, CHARITY WORK, AND TV, HOW ON EARTH DO YOU FIT IT ALL IN? WHAT’S YOUR SECRET TO LOOKING SO REFRESHED WITH SUCH A HECTIC WORKLOAD? I have a twin who does all the work (jk). I find time, I made a conscious decision about how much time I’m away with a show etc, it’s all about balance and at the moment I’m trying to get back some family time. Taking each day as it comes and trying not to get too overwhelmed with what life has in store for me. But I love working hard, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I work out six times a week, I mix up pilates with gym workouts. It’s about taking care of yourself, drinking lots of water, I do a lot of facials – I have masks that I do at home almost every other night. And it’s important to surround yourself with people you love – that always comes through. I’m lucky enough to have a very small bunch of people that I keep very close to me who will always protect me and I’ll always protect them, that keeps me happy. AND LASTLY, WHO’S YOUR GUILTY CRUSH? OMG Captain America, oh and Thor! I’m an Avengers proper freak. Iron Man too. My three guilty crushes there! I love them!


SATURDAY 4TH AUGUST FROM 1PM – LATE 6 DJS | FOOD SERVED ALL DAY FO R M O R E I N FO R M ATI O N ; B O O K I N G S @ T H E N ATI O N A LB E LFAST.CO M C AFÉ / BA R / B E E R G A R D E N H I G H ST R E E T B E L FAST


FEATURE__

Féile an Phobail

FÉILE AN PHOBAIL Féile an Phobail, the West Belfast, celebrates its 30th anniversary this August with the biggest Féile yet, including Olly Murs live in concert! Féile Director Kevin Gamble outlined what Féile is about and what you can expect from Féile this year. “Féile from its outset has sought to display and showcase the positives of West Belfast and the incredible talent and creativity in this community. “Over the past thirty years, Féile has developed enormously and is now the biggest community festival in Europe, with hundreds of events taking place throughout the course of the festival. AFFORDABLE TICKET POLICY “Féile operates an ‘affordable ticket’ policy. We bring world class artists and acts to the heart of the local community and make them accessible via a unique approach to ticketing that ensures local people are at the centre of everything Féile does. Global stars have played Féile in what has been recognised as some of the best value gigs Belfast has ever seen. “Previous years have seen The Kaiser Chiefs, Boyzone, Happy Mondays, The Charlatans, UB40, Status Quo, Shane McGowan, All Saints, Faithless, Deacon Blue, Marc Almond and The

32 | GNIMAG.COM

Coronas and more all play at Féile. PROGRESSIVE “Féile provides an important platform for progressive groups, and ensures that those who are marginalised or without a voice are heard.

we will be holding four open air concerts in the new Falls Park event space with a capacity of 10,000 people at each concert. OLLY MURS “The fantastic Olly Murs will be appearing at Féile on Saturday 11th August in what will be the biggest concert ever held in West Belfast and is one of the big highlights of the festival. Tickets for Olly Murs in concert are available now from Ticketmaster website and from Ticketmaster outlets. Féile 30 runs from 2nd-12th August and you can view the full Féile events programme at www.feilebelfast.com.

“This year we will have a float in the Pride Parade in Belfast City Centre on Saturday 4th August, a week before our own Féile Carnival Parade. “We have concerts, drama, art exhibitions, debates and discussions, lectures, parties in the park, with an attendance in total of over 100,000 annually for our events. “This year we were honoured to have the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, launch the Féile and it is a particularly exciting year for us with it being our 30th year, and also because for the first time

Highlights for this August’s festival include; • • • • • •

Teddy Bears Picnic and Kids Free Market Sunday 5th August, 12-3pm Falls Park 20 Years of Planet Love - Wednesday 8th August Falls Park Féile 30 Carnival Parade - Saturday 11th August Party in the Park - Saturday 11th August Olly Murs - Saturday 11th August Falls Park


#WeAreFeile30

www.feilebelfast.com

OLLY MURS

FALLS PARK SATURDAY 11TH AUGUST TICKETS AVAILABLE FROM TICKETMASTER £35


INTERVIEW__ :PM HI GUYS AND WELCOME TO BELFAST, HOW’S IT GOING, OR AS WE SAY HERE WHAT’S THE CRAIC? Craic is spelt c-r-a-i-c isn’t it? The craics great how’s your craic? There last time we checked lads haha! CAN YOU TELL OUR READERS ABOUT HOW YOU WERE FORMED AND WHAT YOUR HOPES ARE FOR THE BAND SINCE ITS FORMATION? Well the group was formed by Harry and Josh while they were at school. Dan was drafted in when Harry and Josh heard him sing during a school assembly. Alex, who was Josh’s neighbour at the time, later joined the band. Joe ended up joining the band three years ago, when we’d already been going awhile and after we won the Harrogate AMP Music Awards and travelled to Los Angeles to record in Jonny Depp’s studio. The big picture would be to continue what we are doing and obviously have our own headline tour with arena’s and not just as a support act, the fans have been really supportive so we can’t wait for the future! WHY THE NAME :PM? Well why do you think we have the name? WE ARE GOING WITH THE HAPPY FACE EMOJI THAT COMES OUT WHEN YOU TYPE YOUR NAME INTO A COMPUTER\PHONE OR TABLET BUT ARE WE CORRECT THOUGH? MAYBE IT’S PART OF INTERNET CODE BECAUSE WHEN WE GOOGLED YOU FOR RESEARCH IT CAME UP AS INTERNET CODE ALSO? Really? We didn’t know any of that, internet code that’s pretty cool but seriously if we told you we would have to kill you lol! We are leaving the fans guessing at the moment and some of the suggestions have been so good and so funny. Right now we are running with the story that Dan ate a dodgy marshmallow once and was a bit poorly afterwards so we are saying its poisonous marshmallow haha! THERE’S A LOT OF COMPARISONS TO YOU AND 1 DIRECTION IN ANY OF THE PRESS I’VE READ (FOR THE RECORD WE DON’T AGREE) WHAT DO YOU SAY TO PEOPLE THAT MAKE THAT COMPARISON AND WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE COMPARISON? WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE COMPARED TO INSTEAD? I think a lot of it comes from the fact that we are five young lads a similar age to them putting out good music. Obviously it’s a huge compliment to be compared to such a successful act, they achieved a lot but our sound is very different. It’s the same with all girl bands being compared to The Spice Girls. If you were to put a blindfold on someone and just play our music and 1D’s without

34 | GNIMAG.COM

them seeing a photo of either of us I don’t think they would compare us at all. Artic Monkey’s or the kooks would be a pretty cool and accurate comparison we think. In the office here we are saying Blur meets Bieber! THE VIDEO FOR “GROWN UPS” LOOKS LIKE IT WAS A LOT OF FUN TO FILM, TELL US ABOUT THE PROCESS FROM WRITING YOUR SONGS TO MAKING A VIDEO. Firstly you wouldn’t have wanted to be in the video, it was the 1st February and it was like 3 degrees and we are running and sliding around on waterslides and in the mud with only two towels between us all - we are only getting over the trench foot now haha! We just wanted to show our fans the fun we have just hanging out being a band and being five mates. We do all our own videos with the masterminds that are Alex & director Ryan at the minute, which is always such a fun creative process as we all have so many ideas and he makes it all happen. The song was written by us with the amazingly talented singer \ song writer Helen Boulding. We just wanted something really catchy with a massive hook and it wasn’t actually going to be our first single until Helen and us sat down and reworked it a bit in the studio and just felt such a buzz of energy from it, we then were like we have to put this out to our fans. JOHNNY DEPP’S RECORDING STUDIO….. WOW….. TELL US ABOUT THAT AND HOW IT CAME AROUND; DID YOU MEET THE MAN HIMSELF? It started off with us winning a local competition for bands in our home town and then we went onto like a battle of the bands thing between a few schools in the area where you played against other bands within your school and then the winner from each school went to compete in a final and we won. It brought us to the attention of Johnny Depps mate who runs this studio and next thing we know we are at the airport waiting on our GCSE results and heading off to LA. We didn’t get to meet Johnny but he did leave us loads of lovely presents at the studio and we were really well treated from the moment we arrived. HALF WAY THROUGH THE TOUR, HOW HAS IT BEEN SO FAR TOURING WITH THE VAMPS? WE INTERVIEWED THEM LAST YEAR AND THEY WERE SUCH DECENT GUYS. WHAT’S NEXT AFTER THE TOUR FOR YOU? It’s been absolutely unbelievable the first date of the tour was Sheffield and obviously we are from Yorkshire so this was kind of like our home turf gig and we were just buzzing for it and got such an amazing response to our set when we came off stage just shaking with the energy. It’s been the

best experience every so far we’ve got to experience this five times in the past week, it’s just mental to see all the crowd jumping around with their hands in the air to our tunes. We are doing 13 dates across 20 days and we just come off stage every night thinking that has to be the pinnacle of this tour and it’s not each night is just better and better we don’t want it to ever end. The Vamps, the other support acts, the management team and crew have just been amazing and so welcoming you really do become part of the family when on tour with them. Plus we get to watch their show every night from the side of the stage, they put on such a good show and we are learning a lot from seeing them every night. After the tour we plan to put out more music, more videos and are planning our own mini tour around the places we’ve been again. TELL OUR READERS ABOUT YOUR NEW SINGLE “DRIVING ME CRAZY” WHEN’S IT OUT AND WHERE CAN IT BE GOT? Driving me Crazy is another song we wrote with Helen about six months ago. It was just a case of we were in her studio again and were like lets write an up tempo high energy song that fans would just go off to if we were out on tour, we just wanted a simple rock and roll song with a good hook that would just capture everyone’s attention and I hope that we have done just that. TELL US ABOUT A TYPICAL DAY OFF IN :PM AND WHAT YOU GET UP TO... We live in the country so we tend to hang out by the river with a few drinks and just chill and jam or we go off on little road trip adventures around Yorkshire, nothing too exciting really as we haven’t had that much time off lately. DO YOU HAVE A MESSAGE FOR PRIDE? Just keep what you are doing, be who you want to be and don’t care what anyone else thinks. Love is love no matter who it is between, Be Proud, don’t care who you love just love and be loved lots. TELL US WHAT YOU’VE GOT OUT THERE RIGHT NOW, AND HOW OUR READERS FIND YOU ONLINE... Obviously our new single “Driving me crazy” which is available to download and stream from all the usual places. Also we have a pledge music page were you can buy things like signed CD’s, merchandise and even have us perform and cook for you in your own house. Check it out at www. pledgemusic.com/projects/pm-tour-with-thevamps Facebook: PMtheband1 Twitter: Thebandpm Insta: PMtheband Snap: PMtheband (we add back and try to answer everyone)

:


INTERVIEW__ :PM

:PM GNIMAG.COM | 35


INTERVIEW__ SAM CALLAHAN

SAM CALLAHAN We’ve all probably heard of him, and we’ve all definitely seen his less than clothed body – phwoar. This wee Essex lad is back with a brand new single, we catch up with him for a chat….

36 | GNIMAG.COM


INTERVIEW__ SAM CALLAHAN SAM, YOU WERE IN A GROUP MANAGED BY GERRI HORNER (GINGER SPICE), BUT YOU GIVE IT ALL UP TO TRY YOUR LUCK AT A SOLO CAREER. WHAT PROMPTED YOUR DECISION TO LEAVE THE BAND? I’d come out of school and auditioned for that band, it was a pop group with boys and girls. It was great but the songs were written 99% by other people of all different genres, we didn’t really have a sound, we didn’t have one name – we had loads of different names at different times. It was never really secure, and bearing in mind we did this for the best part of three years, it really wasn’t going anywhere. By the end of that I was 18 years old and felt that it really wasn’t working. I felt I could make bigger moves on my own, which was a bold statement at the time. I had other friends who were doing it on their own, and I had confidence in the music I was writing, and that’s what I’d always wanted to do. YOU’VE BEEN QUOTED AS SAYING THAT LOUIS WALSH HAD “NO INPUT” AS YOUR MENTOR, AND THAT HE TURNED UP LITERALLY FOR TEN MINUTES EACH WEEK TO FILM YOUR VT AND THEN WENT FOR COFFEE. WAS THAT DISAPPOINTING, WHAT WAS THE PROCESS IF HE WASN’T DOING THE WORK, AND HAVE YOU HEARD FROM HIM SINCE THROWING HIM SHADE? No, I haven’t heard from him. I think that there’s a lot of things in the X Factor that I would call pantomime. It’s a Saturday night TV show and I think people know that, people are probably aware that there’s more behind the scenes than meets the eye. Basically we have a whole production team, and a music team, and they sit with you and say they think you should do this song and blah blah blah, and then obviously you have all your filming team who help you through directions and stuff when you do all your VT bit and your Youtube clips and things like that throughout the week then you have performance directors, the choreographers who help you with the performance on stage. So the real kind of role of the judges is what they do sitting there on a Saturday night, and I guess they probably do

their own filming bits during the week. They turn up one day during the week and film with you and often that’s put into the VT to make it look like they spend all their time with you. I think the reality is, a lot of people are already aware before I’ve even said anything, is that that’s not quite the case. STILL ON THE X-FACTOR THING, FAMOUSLY THE NATIONS FAVOURITE GARY BARLOW BLOCKED YOU ON TWITTER AFTER YOU POSTED A 90’S PIC OF HIM IN HIS UNDIES, COMPLETE WITH SPIKY BLEACHED BLONDE HAIR. HE NEVER REALLY LIKED YOU THOUGH DID HE? I think somebody has to take Simon’s role when he’s not there, so I think that may be half of it, but I also think he maybe needs a bit more of a sense of humour. The tweet I sent was completely tongue in cheek and harmless. I was having a bit of banter. He wasn’t impressed at all, I think he needs to lighten up a little. THE TRAPPINGS OF “FAME” CAME PRETTY QUICKLY FOR YOU WHEN YOU’RE PRESENTED TO MILLIONS OF PEOPLE EVERY WEEKEND. YOU ENDED UP BEING SET UPON BY THREE LADS AFTER THEY RECOGNISED YOU DIDN’T YOU? When you get any kind of notoriety, some people take umbrage to it. Especially when you’re out and people are drunk – they do silly things anyway. To be honest, I’m just here to do the music, I’m not here for the drama. IS IT HARD TO KEEP YOUR COOL IN A SITUATION LIKE THAT BECAUSE YOU KNOW YOUR ACTIONS WILL BE SCRUTINISED AND REPORTED UPON? When I was younger and when it first started then it was more difficult because it was new to me. As time goes on, I’ve the patience of a saint. People have pushed me and pushed me before I’ve reacted. Some of my friends have been there at times like that and have said they’ve no idea how I kept my cool. Funnily enough that is part of the job.

AS A FORMER BAR-MAN YOURSELF I’M SURE YOU’VE SEEN THE ODD BRAWL OR SO. ASIDE FROM PUB FIGHTS, WHAT’S THE BEST CHAT UP LINE YOU’VE HEARD FROM BEHIND THE BAR? Usually people just try and buy you drinks. I was like, I’m definitely working and driving home. Then they’re just really up front and forward and invite you to stay at theirs. WE’VE ALL SEEN YOU’RE INSTA PIX. YOU’VE THE BODY OF A GOD, MR CALLAHAN. HOW DO YOU KEEP IN SHAPE, WHAT’S YOUR ROUTINE/REGIME? I was generally quite fit as a young lad, I did lots of sport and I danced as well, I did motorcross which kept me very fit. And then when we went on tour I basically ate pizza for two months solid. I got a bit of a “layer” and then decided I wanted to get back in decent shape. Then people wanted to know how it happened so quick and what I did, so I made it a bit of a thing and helped some people out and put some people fit which was great fun. But to be honest I don’t have time for that now, I spend most of my time doing my music. For now it’s more of a way to keep me focussed. Like this morning I was in the gym and it just kind of sets off my day, makes me stay focussed. I go about five or six times a week, I love it. It’s definitely part of my life. LOTS OF US HAVE ALSO SEEN A LOT MORE OF YOU ONLINE TOO, ON ONE OR MORE OF THE ADULT WEBSITES. IT LOOKED LIKE YOU WERE ENJOYING YOURSELF LOL, BUT HOW’D YOU FEEL WHEN YOU REALISED THE VIDEO HAD BEEN LEAKED? Ermmmmm, that’s an open question. You know what, at the time it’s shit, because I’m a family man and like I said, I’m here for the music not the drama. Unfortunately doing the music and gaining public notoriety in some way it opens you up to being criticized and people trying to exploit you. That situation was exactly that, it was in my past even when it came out. It was someone I’d been speaking to for months online, I’d got catfished. It was

a massive invasion of my own privacy, firstly for them to do it and secondly for it to go out online. I was young and stupid at the time and in a position where people liked to exploit me. It doesn’t really bother me anymore, it was so long ago now that it doesn’t even feel like it was me. I’m in a really good place right now, good people around me and an amazing girlfriend. STICKING WITH YOUR LOOK, YOU’VE A MASSIVE GAY FOLLOWING, AND YOU’VE APPEARED ON THE COVER OF GAY MAGS TWICE. WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO DO THEM? I got asked to do them, and it’s great following to have. I’m doing four Prides this year. SO, YOU’VE A NEW SINGLE COMING OUT CALLED SAY SOMETHING. TELL US ABOUT THE SOUND, THE PROCESS TO GET IT TO WHERE IT IS, WHO IT’S ABOUT? Say Something is about somebody in my past who I kind of had a thing with but it never became anything. It’s a love song with a bit of a different take. The message behind the song is that whole situation where you both like each other but nothing ever really materialises because nobody actually makes the first move. It’s one of my best pieces of work so far, but we’ve got a lot more to come. WHAT’S NEXT FOR SAM CALLAHAN, MORE VIDS LOL??? I’ve a collaboration coming up with Roe Bradley who’s a DJ in London and Canada – that’s probably going to be my next release. I got signed to an independent label in Canada, that’s how we met. The thing for me at the moment is to keep releasing good music and performing live, I love performing live.

GNIMAG.COM | 37


INTERVIEW__ SEAN & CONOR RICE

SEAN & CONOR

Price

38 | GNIMAG.COM


INTERVIEW__ SEAN & CONOR PRICE

You Started out busking on the streets of Dublin then propelled into stardom, how did you guys cope with the culture change? Busking was the best preparation for performing in every sort of situation. When we were busking we had to do our best to draw a crowd in, now we are playing a nationwide tour and have people buying tickets to see us. It’s mind blowing to see the support since our time on the X Factor You are a huge hit with fans across the world and with nearly 35’000 followers on twitter, how has this impacted your day to day life? Personal/family life? Social media is very important to us for connecting with our followers with over 300,000 followers on our social media’s combined it is a great place to announce our new music, connect and show everyone what we’re up to. You have a wonderful and very loving family, how important have they been to get you where you are today? We would be nowhere without our family. They play such an important role in our journey and success and go above and beyond the call of duty to support us in our careers and lives. You have definitely put your hometown Blessington in Ireland on the map but what is life like there? What are the people like? Blessington is a lovely town with a lovely community. It’s full of beautiful scenery including the lakes and there’s no better place when the sun comes out. Following the roaring success of the X-factor Tour describe what is was like going out on big stages night after night? The X Factor Arena Tour for us was a dream come true. Walking out on stage to 10,000 people every night was an unexplainable feeling and really made us realise that’s what we want to do for the rest of our lives so now the goal is to get there ourselves. You write your own material, and what great material it is, what gives you the inspiration? How does someone attempt to write a song? Thank you. I (Sean) began writing ‘music’ when I was very young and I got all of the bad stuff out of me then eventually I started to write some good songs and Conor began writing also over the past few years, We’ve been writing ever since and have written about 40 songs. I think just consistency and thinking outside the box are two good traits to have when attempting to write a song. Very few people can sit down and write an amazing song for the very first time. Your first single ‘Be Like You’ is out now, you must be so proud to have achieved the No 1 spot on itunes, what was it about the song that felt so right to you both? The song has an important message without getting too deep. It’s just a fun

song encouraging people to express themselves and not to but on a false persona for anyone. Our Irish headline tour this summer is named after the song ‘Be Like You’ because we want to get that message across as we say in the song “you don’t need to be dressing to impress the man” and “just be yourself, don’t pretend and be the best you can” How much fun was it making the music video for the single? The music video for the single was so fun to shoot. We shot with the very talented Sam Fallover. We shot at a range of locations across Wicklow and Dublin. The scene that we had the most fun was when we got to ‘walk on water’. Check out the video on YouTube and see if you can spot it. With just over a month to go, how does it feel to Headline your very own tour across Ireland? How are you guys preparing? As I’m answering this question, we are on the road on the way to rehearsals and soundcheck for our tour. We are sitting important state exams this year in school and are juggling our music careers with that but that isn’t stopping us from working hard and preparing for our first headline tour! We are so excited for the tour as it is our first venture in the music world without the support of the X Factor. We are so grateful for every person that continues to support us and we can’t wait to perform for and party with them this summer. When can we expect the Sean and Conor Price debut album? From a Sean and Conor Price debut album, one can expect a variety of raw acoustic songs, edgy feel good pop songs, a bit of rap, all the while staying true to how we feel and writing about topics that relate to us. Being brothers you obvious have such respect and love for one another but what individual characteristics sets you apart? Conor and I are very similar but also have very individual characteristics which makes being a music duo very enjoyable as we can both learn from each other. Being an all-Ireland magazine supporting our boys, give us a wee exclusive...what one thing could you reveal to us that you haven’t already? We can confirm that we will be releasing an EP of our brand new music this summer! Be sure to keep an eye out on our social media’s where we will announce this after our tour! What does the future hold for you guys? Hopefully the future will hold a prosperous and successful music career for us. We know this will only come with hard work and the continuous support of our loyal fans. So I suppose the future holds a lot of hard work for us but we’re ready for the challenge. The dream is that everyone knows the name ‘Sean and Conor Price’.

GNIMAG.COM | 39


STUFF__ SONY

KD-65XF90 4K BRAVIA EXPERIENCE SPORTING EVENTS AND THIS SUMMER’S TV AT ITS BEST WITH SONY’S 4K 65” XF90, COMPLETE WITH HDR TECHNOLOGY AND ANDROID TV £2,299 SONY.CO.UK

GADGET MAN WE TAKE A LOOK AT THE LATEST GADGETS SONY HAVE ON OFFER THIS SUMMER SEASON

42 | GNIMAG.COM


STUFF__ SONY

A7 III CAMERA

1000XM2 HEADPHONES

CAPTURE YOUR SUMMER MOMENTS IN SPECTACULAR DETAIL WITH SONY’S LATEST A7 III CAMERA

THE PERFECT HEADPHONES FOR JETSETTING THIS SUMMER, THE 1000XM2 OFFER INDUSTRY LEADING NOISE-CANCELLATION WHEREVER YOU GO

£2,000 (BODY ONLY)

£330 WWW.SONY.CO.UK

WWW.SONY.CO.UK

WS623 WATERPROOF WALKMAN

X3000 ACTION CAM

THE ULTIMATE ACCESSORY FOR SPORTY TYPES, THE WS623 WILL HELP YOU REACH THE FINISH LINE QUICKER

CAPTURE YOUR SUMMER ADVENTURES WITH SONY’S NIFTY X3000 ACTION CAM £499 WWW.SONY.CO.UK

£110 WWW.SONY.CO.UK S50G SMART SPEAKER

RX10 IV BRIDGE CAMERA

ENJOY YOUR MUSIC THE SMARTER WAY WITH SONY’S WIRELESS SMART SPEAKER WITH GOOGLE ASSISTANT

SEIZE THE MOMENT LIKE A PRO THIS SEASON WITH SONY’S ASTOUNDING RX10 IV BRIDGE CAMERA

£149

£1,799

WWW.SONY.CO.UK

WWW.SONY.CO.UK

XB41 EXTRA BASS SPEAKER PUMP UP THE JAMES THIS SUMMER WITH SONY’S FAB XB41 EXTRA BASS SPEAKER £200 WWW.SONY.CO.UK

RX100 V COMPACT CAMERA SONY’S STRIKING AND SUPER RX100 V CAMERA ENSURES YOU NEVER MISS A MOMENT THIS SUMMER £999 WWW.SONY.CO.UK

GNIMAG.COM | 43


1 - 15 Sep at the MAC, Belfast £25-£12.50 Broadway hits Belfast, via Berlin This September, we’re transforming our downstairs theatre into an intimate, jazz-style club to play host to The World Goes ‘Round - a showcase of songs by Kander and Ebb from Broadway’s biggest productions including Chicago, Cabaret and The Rink. Experience a night to remember in the transformed theatre space with table service as well as end-toend iconic hit after hit.Co-produced by Blunt Fringe and the MAC.

“A smooth and intelligent compilation of musical hit highlights.”

On sale now at themaclive.com or call 028 9023 5053


TRANS PRIDE:

Northern Ireland hosted it’s first ever Trans Pride and we were there. PAGE 44

UK & IRELAND PRIDE: Your timetable of where and when the festivals are taking place. PAGE 48

THE

PRIDE ISSUE

RIGHTS & MILESTONES: A timeline highlighting some of our important LGBT milestones. PAGE 54


PRIDE__ TRANS PRIDE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE TURNED OUT yesterday in Belfast for the FIRST ever Trans Pride festival in Ireland. The main #Rally4GenderEquality saw people from across the UK & Ireland come together to demand equality and voice their support for transgender and non-binary members of our community. People from different backgrounds, ages, religions, cultures, political views and identities put their differences to once side to unite as one, in line with this year’s theme Solidarity. Celebrity figure Kellie Maloney flew over from Portugal to join a great line-up of speakers that included Megan Fearon MLA, Gerry Carroll MLA, Councillor Jeff Dudgeon6, William Ennis PUP, Boyd Sleator NI Humanists and Michael Stevens from Trans Pride NI. It also included the powerful voices of young people like Faolan Hook and India Chung from Genderjam who reminded everyone that we still have a long way to go in the fight for equality. “It is my great privilege to come to Belfast for the first ever Trans Pride festival in Belfast. The sun is out and God is on our side. Life is too short to live in the shadows. We are all human beings, all we ask is to be respected.” Kellie Maloney. “I am honoured to be here today. The political significance of this period cannot be underestimated. I believe it can be a tipping point for real change and the delivery of rights. We can do that if we all work together as a progressive alliance.” Megan Fearon MLA. “Thrilled to speak here today. Barriers preventing people from transitioning must be removed. Your class shouldn’t determine your ability to transition. The trans and non-binary community are standing up and demanding basic rights and self-determination, we must support them all the way.” Gerry Carroll MLA. “Everyone’s equality is not up for debate, it is our fundamental human right and an implicit truth. Equality is equality is equality, no exceptions.” Alicia V. Perry. The event was recorded by Northern Visions TV and was supported by Gender Essence Support Services, Genderjam, SAIL NI, Non-Binary NI, Women’s Aid Federation of NI, Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline, GNI Mag, Unite LGBT, Belfast Feminist Network, Alliance For Choice, The Sunflower Bar and Union Street Bar. Sinn Fein’s Paul Maskey MP attended the Rally together with MLA’s, Councillors and reps from all the political parties; with the exception of the DUP.

44 | GNIMAG.COM


PRIDE__ TRANS PRIDE

TRANS PRIDE

GNIMAG.COM | 45


PRIDE__ THE EVOLUTION

NEW YORK CITY’S ANNUAL PRIDE parade is renowned for being one of the world’s greatest, in 2017 there were 2 million attendees, 30 thousand of whom marched the streets. This is no surprise given that New York is famed for being one of the most LGBT friendly cities worldwide. The history of Pride is perhaps a little bleaker than any of us or New Yorkers would like to remember, a march born out of political activism and protests. Being out and proud hasn’t always been easy for even for those in New York, their journey is one that paved the way for all of us. Let’s take a flick through the history books to where it all began. The Summer of 69 – ‘Aint no use in complainin’ when you’ve got a job to do.’ The Stonewall Inn was a gay club tucked away in downtown Manhattan, the Police were known to raid the club, for no other reason than to disturb and intrude upon LGBT patrons who wanted nothing more than a relaxing night, free from oppression. On 28th June 1969 the Police began a routine raid of the club but patrons decided enough was enough, bravely they fought back. This first fight would not be easy; it sparked clashes throughout the night which lasted the duration of the week. For many years sections of the LGBT community had been taking their individual stand but the summer of 69 was different. This time they knew they had a job to do, rather than complain they got together and planned what would become the first Pride march for June 1970. With every great movement comes a great leader, steps forward Brenda Howard from the Bronx. A force to be reckoned with Howard was a bisexual and a militant rights campaigner who became fondly remembered as the ‘Mother of Pride.’ The idea of holding events around the lead up to the Pride parade came from Howard who would have been pleased with a few thousand participants; little did she know she was sparking the beginning of Pride as we know it today. In a 2005 interview with BiSquish she joked, “The next time someone asks you why LGBT pride marches exist or why Gay Pride Month is June tell them, “A bisexual woman named Brenda Howards thought it should be.” On Saturday 27th June 1970 Howard and the Chicago Gay Liberation organised a march, they would pick the route which passed the most pedestrians. The march was threatened when the

46 | GNIMAG.COM

Los Angeles Police Chief Edward M Davis told an organiser, “As far as I’m concerned, granting a permit to a group of homosexuals to parade down Hollywood Boulevard would be the same as giving a permit to a group of thieves and robbers.” The Police Commission were in the end forced to grant the permit and astonishingly set the fee for the parade at over 1.5 million dollars. The American Civil Liberties Union stepped in and the fee was dropped. The Police still weren’t backing down and organisers had to take them to court in order for a judge to dismiss the additional $1500 fee the police wanted just for policing the march which involved homosexuals. Many organisers of the parade received death threats right up until the morning they walked down Hollywood Boulevard, this only encouraged them further, this was their march for freedom. The Advocate reported at the time “Over 1,000 homosexuals and their friends staged, not just a protest march, but a full blown parade down world-famous Hollywood Boulevard.”[13] A parade it may have been but this was not a celebration, it was not fun, it was simply a group of LGBT rights campaigners who had had enough of the shit. Fred Sargeant, a man who attended the actual event wrote a first person account of the march for the Village Voice in 2010, remembering the roots of pride he wrote, “no floats, no music, no boys in briefs. Instead they held signs and banners, and chanted, ‘Say it clear, say it loud. Gay is good, gay is proud.’” Although the 1970 march in New York was not a celebration or an event filled with celebrities, floats, entertainment and music it still made ripples around the world. It made ripples because other members of the LGBT community realised they too needed to take a stand. In the following years other major cities began to follow suit, standing up to be counted. In 1972 London held their very first Pride parade with 2000 participants; this was seen as a major success. Little did those involved know that fast forwarding to 2015 would see the event attract 1 million people making it the 7th largest Pride event in the world. And now the times are changin’ Look at everything that’s come and gone. We’ve come a long way from the summer of 69 and Pride is only getting bigger and better. Why do we still need Pride in 2018? The oft-echoed reason for the necessity of Pride

parades today is that there is still work to be done. Living in Northern Ireland we know this better than most of our friends in the UK. We lag behind our friends around the World with our backward discriminative laws on same-sex marriage. Pride is an opportunity for anyone in Northern Ireland opposed to discriminative laws to join forces and refuse to be beaten. Many fools ask the question, ‘why is there no straight pride parade?’ When you realise the journey of the Pride parade from 1970 until 2018 you realise just how ridiculous this question is. My answer to those ignorant enough to ask is, I must have missed the headlines where heterosexuals where discriminated against, had their human rights infringed upon and were murdered just for being heterosexual. Pride isn’t all about politics anymore though, organisers are unlikely to get death threats. With LGBT rights improving around the world, why do we still love Pride so much? The simple answer is, because it’s fun. The LGBT movement is often embroiled with negative headlines around marriage inequality and bullying against our youth, it’s really important that we balance today’s movement with an image of fun and happiness. Marching with happiness sticks the middle finger up to those who oppress us and opens our arms to those who have not yet joined us. Fun and happiness are the two special ingredients we need to have at every Pride parade. We do this better than most. We march because of inequality but we party because we deserve it. Let’s face it, what would Pride be without Tina Leggs Tantrum and a dramatic rendition of I am what I am? Perhaps we’ll all add summer of 69 to our Pride playlists. Pride means something different to us all, for me, I want to stand for and with other Lesbians especially in 2018 when Lesbian erasure in the media is common place. What does Pride mean to you? Say it clear, say it loud. Lesbians are Good, lesbians are Proud WORDS: NORA CALDER


PRIDE__ THE EVOLUTION

THE EVOLUTION OF PRIDE GNIMAG.COM | 47


PRIDE__ UK AND IRELAND PRIDE

PRIDE DATES UK & IRELAND

We’ve put together a list of festival dates across the UK and Ireland, this is a great list but there are others we haven’t got room to fit in, get onto thon google if there’s others you’re after.

BELFAST 04 AUG 2018 BOLTON PRIDE 21 SEP 2018 BOURNE FREE PRIDE FESTIVAL 13 JUL 2018 BRADFORD PRIDE 30 JUN 2018 BRIGHTON PRIDE STREET PARTY 04 AUG 2018 BRISTOL PRIDE UPDATED EVENT 14 JUL 2018 CANTERBURY PRIDE 09 JUN 2018 CHANNEL ISLANDS PRIDE 08 SEP 2018 CHESTER PRIDE 11 AUG 2018 CHESTERFIELD PRIDE 22 JUL 2018 COLCHESTER HAS PRIDE 18 AUG 2018 CORK PRIDE 06 AUG 2018 CORNWALL GAY PRIDE 25 AUG 2018 COVENTRY PRIDE 09 JUN 2018 CYMRU PRIDE 25 AUG 2018 DERBYSHIRE PRIDE 08 SEP 2018 DONCASTER PRIDE 18 AUG 2018 DORCHESTER PRIDE 26 AUG 2018 DUBLIN PRIDE 30 JUN 2018 EASTBOURNE PRIDE 21 JUL 2018 EASTLEIGH PRIDE FESTIVAL 08 SEP 2018 EXMOUTH PRIDE 30 JUN 2018 FAVERSHAMS PRIDE PARTY 23 JUN 2018 FOLKESTONE PRIDE 18 AUG 2018 FOYLE PRIDE FESTIVAL 25 AUG 2018 HAMPSHIRE PRIDE 24 FEB 2018 HASTINGS PRIDE 26 AUG 2018 HERTS PRIDE UPDATED EVENT 08 SEP 2018 HULL PRIDE 21 JUL 2018 ISLE OF WIGHT PRIDE 21 JUL 2018 KING’S LYNN & WEST NORFOLK PRIDE 18 AUG 2018 LANCASTER PRIDE 19 MAY 2018 LEEDS GAY PRIDE 05 AUG 2018

48 | GNIMAG.COM

LEICESTER PRIDE LIMERICK PRIDE LINCOLN PRIDE LIVERPOOL PRIDE LONDON PRIDE MANCHESTER PRIDE MARGATE PRIDE NEWCASTLE PRIDE NORWICH PRIDE PERTHSHIRE PRIDE PLYMOUTH PRIDE PORTSMOUTH PRIDE PRESTON PRIDE PRIDE IN NEWRY PRIDE GLASGOW READING PRIDE ROTHERHAM PRIDE SALFORD PRIDE - THE PINK PICNIC SHEFFIELD PRIDE SOUTHAMPTON PRIDE STOCKPORT PRIDE TELFORD PRIDE TOTNES PRIDE TRANS PRIDE SOUTH WEST WAKEFIELD PRIDE WALSALL GAY PRIDE WARWICKSHIRE PRIDE WEST LOTHIAN PRIDE WESTON SUPER MARE PRIDE WIGAN PRIDE WORKSOP PRIDE WORTHING PRIDE YORK PRIDE

01 SEP 2018 07 JUL 2018 29 SEP 2018 28 JUL 2018 07 JUL 2018 24 AUG 2018 11 AUG 2018 21 JUL 2018 28 JUL 2018 11 AUG 2018 11 AUG 2018 15 SEP 2018 29 SEP 2018 01 SEP 2018 14 JUL 2018 01 SEP 2018 14 JUL 2018 14 JUL 2018 28 JUL 2018 25 AUG 2018 29 JUL 2018 28 JUL 2018 01 SEP 2018 24 NOV 2018 12 AUG 2018 25 AUG 2018 18 AUG 2018 28 JUL 2018 28 JUL 2018 11 AUG 2018 07 JUL 2018 14 JUL 2018 09 JUN 2018


Galway Film Fleadh 10th-15th July 2018

Galway Film Fair 12th–15th July 2018

Galway Film Fair 10th–12th July 2014


PRIDE__ AN OUTSIDERS VIEW

AN OUTSIDERS VIEW

We interviewed people on the streets anonomyously

50 | GNIMAG.COM


PRIDE__ AN OUTSIDERS VIEW

Pride is celebrated by millions around the world, a time for the LGBT community to come together and celebrate how far they have come as well as remembering the fight still ahead. In Northern Ireland especially we march because we still fall behind the rest of the U.K and Ireland when it comes to marriage equality. Each of us comes to Pride across the globe for a personal reason but what do outsiders think of Pride? Let’s take a look at some anonymous outsider views.

Outsider View 1:

I wouldn’t feel welcome because of my sexuality. I don’t think I’ve ever felt part of the LGBT community. I think the LGBT community focuses on gay men and trans-women the most. My sexuality is seen as an opportunity for a threesome and I’ve found both men and women make remarks. Also the terrorist attacks make me not want to go either, it sounds horrible but I feel they’ll be targeted soon. I like the idea of having one day for a march but I feel different marches everywhere is overkill. I think it actually creates bigger segregation between those who are LGBT and those who aren’t. Its like ‘Look how different we are.’ I think companies are also starting to profit as well so they’re going downhill.

Outsider View 2:

Never been to one, never seen one but the fact that they exist makes me happy. The gay friends I have look forward to them and see them as a chance to celebrate with friends. I do sometimes wonder if they have outlived their usefulness as there should be no real need in the modern era to have to celebrate that which is a normal part of society and should no longer be seen as anything different. Perhaps thought should be given to widening the appeal or sentiment. Pride in all who see themselves as different, whether that be sexuality, race, nationality, hairstyle, shoe colour just don’t exclude anyone.

Outsider View 3:

I have as much interest in Pride as I have in Paddy’s day or the 12th which is limited. I’m not comparing the type of event, I’m just saying it’s a day out for people to drink in the streets and that’s not something I’m interested in doing at all. However as an LGBT ally, I am fully supportive of the LGBT community expressing their pride in whatever way suits them. I believe the LGBT community should be proud as a community and this should be celebrated as a part of everyday life. I am a proud LGBT ally.

Outsider View 4:

I used to attend Pride religiously, never missed one from 1999 to around 2015. Sadly I don’t attend anymore. It’s a corporate, virtue signalling shit fest for the ‘queer’ folk these days.

Outsider View 5:

Before my son came out to me I wouldn’t have had any interest in Gay pride. I thought it was just another day for people to go out and get drunk. Now when I really think about it, I’m proud that we have Gay pride in Belfast and I’m happy that my son can meet with his friends in a safe environment, free from judgement. I’d hope that one day gay people wouldn’t need to have a Pride parade because they will have the same rights as everybody else but that’s not the case right now and the fight must go on. Maybe one day I’ll join my son at Pride, if he’d let me!

Outsider View 6:

Pride marches – A lot are sexualised but then the press only photograph and interview the drag queens and people dressed bizarrely. Thus they uphold the view that LGBT people are freaks. Newcastle pride is a good protest march for LGBT rights plus teachers unions etc. What is happening with “Lesbian?” It’s disappearing and being replaced with “Queer.” I’m from a time when queer was something we vehemently were not. It was an insult used in attacks and there’s

nothing odd about being LGBT. Why are so many Lesbian and Bi women saying they are queer? I feel this is internalised lesphobia.

Outsider View 7:

Pride is a great principle but I feel it’s been taken over by a lot of drama. I feel Pride could do so much more to really drive and help LGBT issues and there are many issues at hand in Northern Ireland. I feel the madness takes over and people need to stop and remember that they are fighting for people’s right to love and marry, not just going out for a party.

Outsider View 8:

I watch the Pride parade on TV when I see it. I wouldn’t go to Pride as it wouldn’t be my type of event. I respect the LGBT community and how they continue to fight for their rights, especially when there is still so much hate crime across the UK. I feel that Pride shouldn’t be a once a year event, there are LGBT issues that should be published and addressed throughout the year and though I understand the need for a big event to gain media attention and support I also think that Pride marches sometimes steer away from the real issues that LGBT people face.

Outsider View 9:

I don’t feel Pride is representative of the gay, lesbian or bi-sexual community in any way. I have friends who go to pride, they don’t get involved in any of the events, and they just go because they want to join the fight for equal marriage which is fair enough. From my view on the outside, Pride is all about men dressing as women and getting on milk floats. Not reflective in any way of the roots of Pride.

Outsider View 10:

I’m an LGBT ally and have been to Pride parades before. I wouldn’t go religiously every year but I do try and at least watch some of the parade so I’m not quite an outsider. I enjoy the atmosphere at Pride events, everyone is welcome and this isn’t always the case when you think about other marches that go on in Belfast. My view of Pride is that people aren’t there to cause trouble; they just want to be themselves and have other people accept them for who they are. Who is anyone to judge what goes on at Pride unless they go and are LGBT in which case they can join the committee and shape the day themselves? Otherwise, live and let live! Sometimes asking for an opinion is much easier than hearing them although if nothing else it is interesting to hear some outsider views on Pride. What is more interesting is that people ask for their comments to be anonymous, have we created a society where people don’t feel they can give an opinion on an LGBT issue for fear of being accused of homophobia? Obviously in gaining these anonomus opinions we didn’t acertain the sexual orientaiton of the people involved, I’m sure the opinions would have been vastly different if we had have only asked members of our own community - most of whom would probably feel that Pride is vital in raising the profile of the struggles we still face. WORDS: NORA CALDER

GNIMAG.COM | 51


HAPPY PRIDE TO ONE AND ALL! P ea ky Blind e r s at T he Hu d s o n 1 0-14 G re s ha m S t r e e t Be lfa st 0 28 9023 2 322 fb : @pe a ky b l i nd e r s b e lfa s t

You’re all very welcome to come help us celebrate at Peaky Blinders.


STUFF

PRIDE__ STUFF

Getting your rainbow on this Pride...

GAY PRIDE HANDWAVING FLAG £0.89 WWW.FLAGANDBUNTINGSTORE.CO.UK ---------VLADIMIR RAINBOW MULTI RAINCOAT £260 WWW.STUTTERHEIM.COM ---------GAY PRIDE PUGS IN YELLOW GLASSES LARGE MUG £11.50 WWW.CAFEPRESS.CO.UK ---------LGBT PRIDE RAINBOW RETRO SUNGLASSES £9.90 WWW.ZAZZLE.CO.UK ---------RAINBOW GAY PRIDE BRUSH FLAG KEY RING £2.75 WWW.ZAZZLE.CO.UK ---------LUCKY TO BE ME TSHIRT £19.99 WWW.EQUALITEE.CO.UK ---------HE-MAN GAY PRIDE TOTE BAG £9.82 WWW.REDBUBBLE.COM ---------BARGAIN BUDGET BUSTER GOLF UMBRELLA - RAINBOW £8.99 WWW.UMBRELLAWORLD.CO.UK ----------

GN-

IMAG.COM | 53


PRIDE__ RIGHTS AND MILESTONES

RIGHTS AND MILESTONES

1972 With Pride season well under way there’s no better time to look back at the history of LGBT rights and celebrate just how far we have come. Let’s take a look at some important milestones in our journey over the years.

The first Pride is held in London, attracting approximately 2,000 participants & Gay News, Britain’s first gay newspaper is founded.

1988

Sir Ian McKellen comes out on the UK’s BBC Radio in response to the government proposed Section 28 in the Briti Parliament. Stonewall UK is formed in respo to Section 28 and other barrier to equality. Founding member include Ian McKellen and Michael Cashman.

1963 The Minorities Research Group becomes the UK’s first lesbian social and political organisation and goes on to publish a monthly journal – Arena Three.

1950 1988

1967

1957

The Wolfenden Committee publishes a report, recommending that ‘homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence’. Supporters of this recommendation include the then Archbishop of Canterbury and the British Medical Association. Despite this, the recommendations are rejected by the government.

54 | GNIMAG.COM

The Sexual Offences Act 1967 decriminalises sex between two men over 21 and ‘in private’. It did not extend to the Merchant Navy or the Armed Forces, or Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, where sex between two men remained illegal.

1982

UK Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, introduces Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988. The Act states that a local authority “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”.

The Homosexual Offences Order decriminalises sex between two men over the age of 21 ‘in private’ in Northern Ireland. Terry Higgins dies of AIDS in St. Thomas’ Hospital, his partner Rupert Whittaker, Martyn Butler and friends set up the Terry Higgins Trust (which became the Terrence Higgins trust), the UK’s first AIDS charity.


’s ish

onse rs rs

PRIDE__ RIGHTS AND MILESTONES

2003

1992

World Health Organisation declassifies same-sex attraction as a mental illness. First Pride Festival is held in the Brighton. Press For Change, a key lobbying and legal support organisation for trans people in the UK, is formed. British serial killer, Colin Ireland, is convicted of killing five gay men. He is sentenced to life in prison.

Section 28 is repealed in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, lifting the ban on local authorities from ‘the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality’. Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations becomes law in the UK, making it illegal to discriminate against lesbians, gay and bi people in the workplace.

2017

2014 The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 officially comes into force, with the first same-sex marriages in England and Wales taking place on 29 March 2014.

The Government issues a posthumous pardon to all gay and bi men who were convicted under pernicious sexual offences laws in the last century which enabled police to criminalise people for being gay or bi. The Department of Health reduces the deferral period for gay and bi men wishing to donate blood from 12 months to three months.

2018 2000

1990

Candlelit vigil is held in London after five gay men are murdered within months of each other. This leads to the formation of OutRage, who call for police to start protecting gay and bi men instead of arresting them. Justin Fashanu becomes the first professional footballer to come out as gay. He later commits suicide. Northern Ireland holds their first Pride

The UK Government lifts the ban on lesbians, gay men and bi people serving in the armed forces. Stonewall’s campaign to reduce the age of consent for same-sex relations between men aged 16 is successful as changes are made to the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000. Group sex between men is also decriminalised.

2015 Ireland votes by a huge majority to legalise same-sex marriage, becoming the first country in the world to do so by a referendum.

2011

The Department of Health lifts the lifetime ban on gay and bi men donating blood, although a 12-month celibacy clause is still in place in order for men who have sex with men to be eligible to donate. Ruth Davidson is elected to lead the Scottish Conservatives. She is the first openly gay leader of a political party.

LGBT rights have seen many milestones over the years, though thankfully, the worst is now behind us. This Pride season, take time to thank those a little older than me who battled through the blood, sweat and tears to pave the way for us to celebrate with pride today. WORDS: NORA CALDER

GNIMAG.COM | 55


FASHION:

Checking out the latest swimwear range from AussieBum. PAGE 58

REAL BODIES:

Laura and Anthony strip down and talk about their bodies. PAGE 74

TRAVEL:

Gavyn gives us the lowdown on the perfect trip to Greece PAGE 86

LIFE & STYLE


FASHION__ AUSSIEBUM

58 | GNIMAG.COM


FASHION__ AUSSIEBUM

BEACH BUM The latest swimwear from AussieBum

HR RETRO NYLON WHITE AVAIABLE AT WWW.AUSSIEBUM.COM GNIMAG.COM | 59


FASHION__ AUSSIEBUM

HR HANDLEBAR BAYVIEW AVAIABLE AT WWW.AUSSIEBUM.COM 60 | GNIMAG.COM


FASHION__ AUSSIEBUM

HR CLASSIC NYLON 1.5 BLACK AVAIABLE AT WWW.AUSSIEBUM.COM

GNIMAG.COM | 61


FASHION__ AUSSIEBUM

HR MIAMI BLACK AVAIABLE AT WWW.AUSSIEBUM.COM

62 | GNIMAG.COM


FASHION__ AUSSIEBUM

HR LOWRIDER SHARK AVAIABLE AT WWW.AUSSIEBUM.COM

GNIMAG.COM | 63


FASHION__ AUSSIEBUM

HR SURGE BREAKER AVAIABLE AT WWW.AUSSIEBUM.COM

64 | GNIMAG.COM


FACE THERAPY NI Qualified aesthetics practitioners

BEFORE AFTER

BEFORE AFTER

Face Therapy NI is owned and operated by Lisa (Independent Nurse Prescriber) and her wife Geri (Manager) specialilsing in non-surgical facial aesthetics and more. services include: Nose Filler Lip filler Eye filler Cheek filler Chin & jaw filler Anti wrinkle injections Anti sweating injections CHEMICAL PEELS NEW!! IV VITAMIN THERAPY including Mood Support, detox fat burning drips, and performance boosters! www.facetherapyni.co.uk

facebook.com facetherapyni

07706 406 592


Summer Escape Two nights accommodation Full breakfast each morning Four course dinner

From â‚Ź129 Per Person

â‚Ź

info@dillons-hotel.ie (00353)749122977 www.dillons-hotel.ie


MEET THE ARTIST__ JAMIE BEARD

MEET THE ARTIST

JAMIE BEARD WHAT SORT OF ART DO YOU CREATE? I am an illustrator first and foremost, so that encompasses a lot of different types of work which permeate the worlds of branding, advertising, film, editorial, web, and so on. I am also an avid animator when given the chance! Each job can be very different to the one before it which I find pretty exciting. I thrive on routine, but not monotony. Thematically and visually, I am heavily inspired by kitsch, retro aesthetics, pop culture, feminism and social justice, so you’ll usually find traces of these elements ingrained throughout my work. HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO THIS? WAS IT A JOURNEY THROUGH DIFFERENT CREATIVE INDUSTRIES? Sort of ! Since graduating from Belfast School of Art in 2015 I’ve been down (up?) a few different alleys, garnering experience in a fashion website studio and an animation-led production company (between a variety of other jobs) before gradually taking on a role in UsFolk illustration agency over the past couple of years. UsFolk operates both as an illustration agency and a general creative agency, and I am lucky enough to be on the books of the former whilst working in the latter as a graphic designer and animator. Such a unique dynamic has been brilliant in helping me to develop my own work, which for me and anyone is an ongoing process.

WHAT DO YOU MOST ENJOY CREATING? Big, bold, queer work! I love channelling all the themes and influences that make up the driving force behind my work to create something new - Sometimes subversive, never try-hard, always from the heart. In recent years I have worked on some fab collaborations with some even more fab entities, one big one being Outburst Queer Arts Festival. My Drawing Home project for the 2016 festival was an extension of my personal LGBTQ+ portrait project Tapestry, and saw me sit in PS2 gallery in Belfast for a week to illustrate (and take down the stories of ) the LGBTQ+ individuals who dropped by throughout the course of the festival. By the end of the week, we had a really interesting project up on the walls. For myself and many of the subjects, it seemed to be quite a therapeutic process, and definitely proved a massive growth experience for me as an illustrator. I’m pretty personable so I love working with different people in social environments and on sociable projects. Plus I’m a bitch who 100% lives for the drama. WHAT ARE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS? Insta: @jamiebeardillustration Facebook: Jamie Beard Illustration Twitter: @HelloJamieBeard

GNIMAG.COM

| 67


FASHION__ PAUL GOES TO HOLLYWOOD

PANTS: €135 / £119 WWW.MYLOSTUNCLE-MISSINGSINCE1979.COM 68 | GNIMAG.COM


MEET THE ARTIST__ ANSHIKA KHULLAR FASHION__ PAUL GOES TO HOLLYWOOD

PAUL GOESTO HOLLYWOOD MY LOST UNCLE - MISSINGSINCE1979 PHOTOGRAPHER: MIKKO RASILA MODEL: AAPO SIIKALA, CONTEMPORARY DANCER FROM FINNISH NATIONAL BALLET

GNIMAG.COM | 69 GNIMAG.COM | 69


FASHION__ PAUL GOES TO HOLLYWOOD

HAT: €52 / £46 MICROSHORTS: €65 / £57 WWW.MYLOSTUNCLE-MISSINGSINCE1979.COM

70 | GNIMAG.COM


FASHION__FASHION__ PAUL GOESBULL TO HOLLYWOOD & DAGGER

T-SHIRT: €79 / £69 WWW.MYLOSTUNCLE-MISSINGSINCE1979.COM

GNIMAG.COM | 71 GNIMAG.COM | 71


LIFESTYLE__ FITNESS

Daily Fitness. Five tips to easily squeeze fitness into your day. 1. BUY A PEDOMETER They cost as little as £2, but a basic pedometer can match an expensive fitness tracker when it comes to motivating us to get fit. In 2013, a study at Indiana University in the US asked men and women between the ages of 40 and 66 to undergo a 12-week programme in which they wore a cheap pedometer every day. They were encouraged to be active at times they’d normally spend sitting (at a desk or in front of the TV) and to download the data once a week. Results were impressive: they spent a lot less time sitting and more time being active, dropping an average of 2.5lb in weight 2. DO SQUATS FOR JUST 30 SECONDS EVERY DAY ‘People always ask me what’s the best exercise for getting fat off the middle and they’re surprised when I say squats,’ says Zana Morris, owner of exclusive The Library gym in London. ‘Squats work the largest muscles in the body – those in the legs and buttocks and, as a result, trigger a great response in terms of whole-body fat burning.’ Stand with feet flat and slightly wider than hip-width apart. Hold your arms out in front for balance and position your shoulders above the hips. Keeping your chest up, bend your knees to lower yourself into a deep squat that takes your bottom almost to the floor. Push back up by straightening your legs and then swiftly lower again. The idea is to complete the full range of movement in quick succession, doing as many as you can in 30 seconds. 3. SHOP-ERCISE What Americans call ‘mallercise’ is starting to catch on this side of the pond. It

72 | GNIMAG.COM

involves incorporating a workout into your shopping spree – and it works. Researchers at the University of Calgary found that an eight-week mall-walking programme, with bursts of speed walking around the shopping centre, led to weight loss and a 63% increase in motivation to exercise. Other studies have shown that committed shoppers can tot up several miles in one session. Just remember to wear your comfortable shoes. 4. BEDROOM ANTICS Experts estimate we already burn, on average, 69 calories per hour while asleep (that’s 552 calories per eight hours, the equivalent of a roast chicken dinner or two doughnuts). Fitness expert Greg Johnson suggests increasing the benefits by doing some arm-firming ‘duvet dips’ when you wake up: sit on the edge of the bed with your hands by your sides, shoulder-width apart, and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your bottom off the bed, then dip down into a squat and straighten your arms as you come up. Repeat 20 times, rest for 20 seconds, then repeat the sequence twice more. 5. YOU GOTTA LAUGH Remember, as a child, laughing so hard your tummy hurt? Sammy Margo, chartered physiotherapist, says a good belly laugh ‘really works the deeply embedded abdominal muscles in the core that help to support good posture and achieve a flat tum’. And researchers at Vanderbilt University in the US found 10–15 minutes of genuine giggling can burn off the number of calories found in a medium square of chocolate. So next time you’re sitting down to watch a box set, make it a comedy classic.


REAL BEER REAL FOOD REAL PEOPLE DONNELLYGROUP.CO.UK DONNELLY BROS

DONNELLY BROS

028 9590 0219

028 8744 0703

MALLUSK WAY, NEWTOWNABBEY, CO. ANTRIM

DONNELLY M1 COMPLEX, 181 BALLYGAWLEY ROAD, DUNGANNON

DONNELLY BROS

DONNELLY & TAGGART

028 6633 0378

028 7122 9372

101 IRVINESTOWN ROAD, ENNISKILLEN, CO. FERMANAGH

CAMPSIE INDUSTRIAL ESTATE EGLINTON, CO. L/DERRY

Terms and Conditions apply. Personal Contract Hire agreement. Duration: 24 months. Initial Rental: £796. 6,000 miles per annum. Leasys, SL1 0WU. Offer ends 31st July 2018.

The staff and management would like to wish everyone a happy Pride.

51 Donegall Street, Cathedral Quarter, Belfast 028 90233768


LIFESTYLE__ REAL BODIES

NAME: LAURA FIRBY AGE: 29 HEIGHT: 5’ 10” WEIGHT: I DON’T ACTUALLY KNOW

& “I teach dance classes and perform 2-3 times a week. But it’s not really a workout. I have just started swimming though and I’m loving it. I produce shows too but more out of love than for money so I guess that would be my hobby”

74 | GNIMAG.COM

TRIMMED OR NATURAL? Natural. PANTS OR BOXERS? Pants. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE GROOMING PRODUCT? Clay based facemasks. WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE? Eating icecream and now Love Island is back on, that too. WHAT ONE PRODUCT COULD YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT? Toothpaste.


LIFESTYLE__ REAL BODIES

& NAME: ANTHONY RICE AGE: 29 HEIGHT: 5’ 6” WEIGHT: 53.2kg

TRIMMED OR NATURAL? Trimmed, apart from my arms and legs, everywhere else is trimmed, reason beigin that I like to feel younger than I am lol!

“I try to hit the gym five times a week. I live in Belfast and work in sales, my hobbies would include pinning up pictures of home decor I can’t afford, recipes I won’t cook & crafts I won’t make. Also really enjoy loading up my online shopping cart & not buying any of it.”

PANTS OR BOXERS? Boxers, I find tight boxers sexy, so when I strip down to my underwear I feel in control of the situation. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE GROOMING PRODUCT? Paula’s Choice, Skincare. WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE? I enjoy a glass of wine for its health benefits. The other glasses are for my witty comebacks and flawless dance moves :) WHAT ONE PRODUCT COULD YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT? Hairspray.

GNIMAG.COM | 75


ADVERTORIAL__ CALM COSMETIC SKIN CLINIC

Over the hill but not under the knife… BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER

Being over 30 in this day & age is a terribly scary mindset to be in if you have been through a lot and especially if you have had the added pressure of weight issues growing up. But growing up with weight issues leaves an awful trail of confidence issues right up even to this very day… for me anyway. Growing up I was fat, no other way to put it. I simply didn’t eat right or exercise enough to maintain a healthy balance which lead to me ballooning to a 44 waist at my biggest. In my 20’s I was a yoyo dieter trying everything I could to loose those extra pounds and get the “PERFECT” image, sorry to burst my own bubble but it has taken me until I’m 31 to realise that there really isn’t such a thing as perfect (corny I know) but when you break it down what is perfect to you may only relate to you. Not everyone has the same idea of perfect as you, and to that one person who captures your heart you will absolutely perfect to them. But let’s be realistic; I still want to look my best even if I am with the love of my life right? So I decided to start to look after myself with the help of modern day technology. So I took myself for a consultation to Calm Cosmetic Skin Clinic in Belfast which specialises in non-invasive skin treatments everything from vaginal rejuvenation to the latest trend in hair removal “sugaring”. Upon arrival I was greeted with smiles and refreshments and we very quickly got down to business. I have always had an issue with my stomach from the damage from yoyo dieting and incorrect eating habits it had left me with the dreaded pooch but of course I Gavin Rennick had been given the pooch of all pooches, a pooch with no fat in it!! Just sagging skin. This had left me like a lot of others, I felt was unable to take my top of on holiday because let’s face it who wants to look at that. So, Marty the owner of the clinic had a look at the skin and we devised a programme that would most definitely take time, but would most definitely, with the correct treatment plan and after care, fix the problem. But it was most certainly not a quick fix, like most things in life you have to wait let the technology do its job. My stomach was one area and my chin was the second area I can safely say I was happy with everything else. My treatment plan had been given to me which consisted of : • 4 weeks of Radio Frequency 1 session per week (Skin Tightening) • Cavitation (Spot Fat Removal)

• Plasma Pen (Skin Tightening) after the 4 weeks of Radio Frequency • Cryolipoysis (Fat Freezing) Like everyone I was very sceptical, but at the possibility of me having confidence taking my top of on holiday I’m absolutely going to throw myself into this and give it my full attention. All the treatments were painless - and I mean it the treatments where pain free they did not hurt one bit. They were very relaxing and therapeutic especially because I was internally praying and chanting to myself like that girl from the Craft “please take away my skin” . Believe you me this area is the pain in my ass so any form of help to remove this problem I am grateful for. I have to give a big shout out to the Plasma Pen it literally gives you new skin and is the only thing you can get done before having to go for surgery it truly is remarkable as you can see from the before and after pictures from the plasma pen treatment. So even while there were immediate results which you can see from the pictures, the technology that was used continues working which is amazing in itself. So, like everything in life there really is no quick fix, it is about time and perseverance. This is definately for me as I have worked hard with my health and fitness and turned things around for myself, so another 12 weeks to see the finished results is something I cannot wait to share with you. But for anyone who has work their butt of in the gym or has been left with a few bits of skin that need toning up get in touch with the team at Calm Cosmetics Skin Clinic they really are making a difference in my life. I always say that phrase “it’s in the details” and that “the small details matter” and I feel this translates across to my body I’m not ashamed of my body my scars and marks show I’ve lived a life that is certainly not perfect but like I said before what really is perfect? I’ve set my self a challenge that in two issues time I will nominate myself for the real body feature of the magazine to share with you all my results!! If you have any questions regarding my treatments please contact Calm Cosmetic Skin Clinic in Belfast. Have pride in your body and have pride in yourself….. www.calmcosmeticskinclinicbelfast.com 028 95433156

GNIMAG.COM | 77


FEATURE__ HIDDEN HAND TATTOO STUDIO

THE TEAM AT HIDDEN HAND

PIECE BY KAT

PIECE BY SPUD

I RECENTLY HAD MY SLEEVE FINISHED BY SPUD FROM HIDDEN HANDS TATTOO STUDIO ON THE WOODSTOCK ROAD, SO THOUGHT I WOULD HAVE A CHAT WITH THE STAFF TO GIVE GNI’S READERS AN INSIGHT ON WHO THEY ARE AND HOW THEY OPERATE... DEAN KAT AND SPUD HOW MANY YEARS EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE BETWEEN YOU? Dean “I started 12 years ago, Spud “I’ve been at it for almost 20 years, Kat “Only 5 years for me, so that’s 37 years collectively. HOW DID THE 3 OF YOU MEET? We meet years ago while working together. WHEN DID YOU OPEN? We opened in April 2017 and Spud joined us in June 2017. WHO’S DECISION WAS IT TO OPEN THE STUDIO? Kat - Myself and Dean always wanted to open our own place”, Dean “we decided to come to the Woodstock road as it is still close enough to the city centre though far enough away that people could easily park. It also suits us as the three of us as are very chilled out and love how people

78 | GNIMAG.COM

PIECE BY SPUD

can be at ease here without getting bombarded by a million walk ins. WHAT DO YOU SPECIALISE IN? Spud “black and grey” Kat “ Neo traditional, things that are colourful and more girlie/feminine” Dean “ Neo traditional also though more a more masculine edge. I SEEN ON FACEBOOK THAT WHO WON SOME AWARDS RECENTLY, HOW MANY AWARDS HAVE YOU WON? Dean “42 which is crazy, I’m particularly proud of the award I won in Poznan in Poland. We have been in competitions all over and picked up wins here in Belfast, Derry, Waterford, Cork, Summerset. Its great being able to travel to do something you love so much. KAT TELL ME WHAT IS THE MOST COMMON TATTOO YOU ARE ASKED TO DO AND ALSO WHAT IS THE MOST RANDOM PIECE YOU’VE DONE? Lately people are after more individual pieces though I would say that for me in the past it was floral pieces, roses etc that were most common. And the most unusual piece has to be a Father Ted tattoo which has the text I love my brick lol.

PIECE BY DEAN DEAN IF YOU WERE TO TAKE A WILD GUESS HOW MANY TATTOOS WOULD YOU SAY YOU’VE DONE OVER YOUR 12 YEARS? Wow how that’s hard don’t think I’ve ever thought about that or actually tried to count, let’s see, so approx. 250 pieces a year give for take for the past 12 years, I’m going to say well in access of 3,000. SPUD IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD REFUSE TO TATTOO ON SOMEONE? Emm no not really, in the past working in other studios there may have been a policy about not doing certain things but as for now I’m happy to do anything, it’s all part of the game, people have different interests which are reflected in the artwork the decide to get done. AND FINALLY, KAT HAVE YOU ANY TATTOOS YOU’RE EMBARRASSED ABOUT? I planned everything, I was actually 24 before I started to get things done. Though I remember years ago I wanted a spirit symbol it turned out looking like a really bad football badge so I had it lasered off. THANKS FOR THE CHAT, YOU CAN FIND THE STUDIO AT 319 WOODSTOCK ROAD BELFAST OR CHECK OUT THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE.


FOOD__ BUBA

BUBA BELFAST The smallplate trend is all about sharing

WORDS/REVIEW BY DANIEL MAY

80 | GNIMAG.COM

THIS ISSUES REVIEW TAKES US to Buba Restaurant, the most recent & welcome addition to St Anne’s Square in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter which offers a Middle Eastern-inspired variety of mouth watering dishes and small tasting plates. After an initial recommendation from a friend I done bit of investigating and discovered that the owners of Buba Belfast, Andrea and Tony O’Neill, also own Coppi, which is a favourite of mine for dining out in Belfast so my expectations were high on arrival but thankfully I wasn’t to be disappointed. On entering the premises I found the staff to be welcoming and full of conversation and the decor was a mixture of being both warm and the exotic. The food on the menu may pose a few questions with the waiting staff but this just adds to the experience & involvement of dining at Buba. The small-plate trend is all about sharing, even tapas inspired which I personally absolutely love! Our waiter encouraged us to try one of their amazing cocktails, after a few minutes of drooling over the menu we decided to order the Mango Hello which had just the right amount of tequila mixed to make you merry. This was a true exotic offering with Anejo, Rumbullion, Mango, Lime Sherbet Infused With Curry Oil, Lemon & Lumi Powder. To start we both decided to try the Baked Garlic Prawns and shared a portion of what I can only describe as the most moreish Halloumi Fries which came with chilli jam and house sauce. The prawns themselves were exquisite, so fresh cooked using Za’atar which is a mix of middle eastern spices and coriander. For my main I decided to go completely out of the box and ordered the Spiced Lamb, this was so suckulant, served with harissa salsa, house sauce, youghurt and

lemon. Eating this really made me feel like I was on holiday, everything was seasoned and spiced to perfection. My guest decided to go with the main of Grilled Picanha Steak (done to her liking medium to raw ), this was served with a generous helping of spiced butter which I have been informed added to the already mouth watering flavouring of this delicious meal. Mains down, time for dessert, while chatting to the waiter we were informed that the owners had recently visited Turkey and had come back from their travels with real Turkish Delight, this is one of my guests favourite things so when she heard that it was used in one of the dessert options, she was as excited as kid at Christmas. The dessert was Buttermilk Pannacotta with real Turkish Delight, my guest said “I cannot begin to describe how out of this world this was to taste. Best dessert ever and a perfect finish to a a stand out evening! Buba Belfast I will definitely be back to grace your perfect premises again!” For me there is only one way to finish a meal and if its on the menu its always sticky toffee pudding. I was in luck though with a slight twist as the offering was sticky date pudding with Carmel and vanilla cream, this was to die for, am salivating now thinking about it. Thanks so much to the owners, staff and chefs for a wondering evening, staff were so friendly and knowledgeable and the food I couldn’t fault Can’t wait to come back You can find Buba at unit 4 St Annes Square. Tel 028 9568 0162 Website www.bubabelfast.com


No matter what your race, colour, creed or sexual identity we’re listening at New Life Counselling. New Life Counselling provides counselling services for children, young people, adults and families.

IS STRESS IS STRESS GETTING IS STRESS GETTING THE BETTER GETTING THE BETTER OF YOU? THE BETTER OF YOU? OF YOU? TAKE THE STRESS TEST AT nichs.org.uk/stresstest TAKE THE STRESS TEST AT nichs.org.uk/stresstest TAKE THE STRESS TEST AT nichs.org.uk/stresstest

The service is open to anyone regardless of gender, age (5 yrs +), religion, sexual orientation, ethnic or cultural background. Our facilities in North and East Belfast are also designed to promote disabled access and we are keen to offer more support for those particularly coming from the LGBT community.

• Okay (only kids and youth) • Adult Project • The Family Project GETTING COUNSELLING

Our confidential referral forms can be accessed online through our website www. newlifecounselling.net or by contacting our office on 02890391630. New life Counselling is a charitable organisation and our services are provided free of charge to those who are in need, as a charity we do encourage donations and fundraising volunteers


LIFESTYLE__ HOMES

Lighten up! Tips and tricks to lighten up rooms in the shade. SO YOU’RE LIVING IN YOUR perfect house, you love everything about it, well almost. If only you could rotate it a bit so the sun would shine in and brighten up your favourite room. Well we can’t re-align the planet but we can look at some tips and tricks to ligten up even the darkest and dingiest room. Windows This might sound silly but even if you’re on the dark side of the street, your windows are still your biggest assest for light. Declutter them, try to leave as much of the actual window free of dressings. If you’ve curtains have them pulled right back, if you’ve blinds go for the smallest profile when pulled up (roman blinds aren’t a good idea as they have a massive profile when open). Floors If you really want to brighten the room you’ll probably want to ditch the carpet. Instead go for something with more of a reflective surface. There are some beautiful pale toned wooden floor options with a stunning shiny surface, or a nice glossy floor tile would be a stunning alternative - offering a high end feel to the room. Walls Stating the obvious here, but if you want your room to appear brighter

82 | GNIMAG.COM

then don’t go for dark colours. There are some ranges of paint available that actually state that they will brighten up darker spaces due to the chemical make up of the paint. In any case, go for lighter, brighter colours. Mirrors Mirrors are your friend! Instantly reflecting light around your room. Think carefully about where to put them for the maximum benefit. And don’t be afraid to go big. Hanging mirrors on opposite walls will allow the light coming in from your windows to bounce of them and further into your room. Lighting There are so many different lighting options. Starting with your “big light”, this light is the centrerpiece of your ceiling and although it’s not usually on that much, consider using something with hanging crystals (or fake crystals), these will bounce little bits of light around the room. Have a look at inroducing a few table lamps around the room - these will be low wattage but when used togeher they will beautifully light up different parts of your space. LED strip lighting can be subtle, discretely hide it at the back of shelves, behind your TV, you could introduce a ceilng cornice and offset it from the wall so that LED lighing could be used as a downlight to illuminte the walls - the options with striplighting are endless, and most of them can change colour too so they’re good for the house parties too.


CARLANTO CARLANTO CARLANTO

T I L E • S T O N E • B AT H R O O M S

The Touch ThePersonal Personal Touch T I L E • S T O N E • B AT H R O O M S T I L E • S T O N E • B AT H R O O M S

The Personal Touch

5-7 Glenmachan Place, Boucher Road, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT12 6QH

5-7 Glenmachan Place, Boucher Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT12 6QH Tel: 028 9023 0433 Road, | www.carlanto.com 5-7 Glenmachan Place, Boucher Road, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT12 6QH Tel: 028 0433 || www.carlanto.com Tel:9023 028028 9023 04330433 Tel: 9023 |www.carlanto.com carlanto.com

Carlanto FP Ad.indd 1 Carlanto FP Ad.indd 1

11/04/2017 15:57 11/04/2017 15:57


LIFESTYLE__ SPA TIME

Relaxation at it’s finest at the Espa Spa in the Slieve Donard Hotel A TRIP TO NEWCASTLE CAN BE trying at times especially as traffic can be so unpredictable though not today as the sun it splitting the trees, the temperature is a glorious 23 degrees and most importantly I’m on route to be pampered in one of Northern Ireland’s most renowned Spa’s. As I rolled up to the hotel I genuinely felt like the King of Sheeba, the door men greeted me and escorted me to the Spa, I must confess it has been some time from I last visited so was surprised to see the extensive refurbishment that has been done. What I recall as a juice bar has now been replaced with a luxurious relaxing room, The Horizon is the most amazing place to kick off any Spa experience as it has the most amazing views of the Sean and the pool. Not I been staying the night I most definitely would have been chilling with a few glasses for champagne. I can see why this would appeal to parities or couples as a great way to make the most of the facilities. With already being marginally late I made my way upstairs to the spa itself, the sheer size had me awe, so much thought has clearly went into the finest details. After completing the formalities, I was given a tour of the facilitates before heading to get my treatments. Beside reception there are a few treatment rooms for nails etc but the piece de resistance has to be the separate areas for men and woman, I didn’t see the woman’s section but I imagine it was a mirror image of the men’s section. There is the most modern changing area where you pop into your robe and slippers and an out of this world relaxation room, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi (I will get back to these later). I was advised to take 5 minutes to loosen my muscles and reflex before going for my treatments so I chilled in the

84 | GNIMAG.COM

Steam room and pretended I was in the Bahama’s lol. Now that I was chilled, I headed back to reception where Chloe my therapist was waiting to greet me, she guided me to the treatment room before explaining what I the treatment would consist of. I must confess I certainly enjoy a massage and treatment as much as the next person but it’s not often you get to experience 2 hours of pampering which is what Chloe had instore. She explained that my treatments were an Oriental scalp massage, Foot ritual and full body massage. Chloe was so friendly and conversational, we actually

had allot in common which made me feel really at home, the treatment room was the perfect temperature with ambient lighting and the most relaxing music. After discussing my needs, which thankfully where few Chloe selected two oils, one of which would be used for the majority of the treatment. She rubbed the oils on my hands and asked me to pick the one which I preferred, I thought this was a lovely touch. The oil I selected was called ‘Soothing’, and OMG that is exactly what it did, for what was a 2 hours treatment I can honestly say it felt like 30 minutes because I was so relaxed with I spend most of the time drooling or snoring lol. The oil itself was full oil wonderful natural oils such as Coconut, Soy Bean, Sweet Almont, Avocado, Lavender and Sunflower seed oil. The massage ended with a scalp massage using Epa ‘Pink Hair and Scalp Mud’ this was pure head, nothing beats a good head massage. Once the treatments were finished and I had woken up Chloe showed me round to the relaxation room, this was the ultimate chill out room complete with magazines, electric beds to get comfy and a selection of nipples, fresh and dried fruits, chilled flavoured waters and tea’s. After this I completed my experience by hopping into the wonderful eternity pool and jacuzzi, I noticed this earlier on my tour and simply had to make the most of it before heading back to reality. I had what I can only describe as the most relaxing time, thanks to all the staff and Chloe for taking care of me, I can’t wait to come back If you are interested in getting a treatment visit www.hastingshotels.com/slieve-donard-spa or contact them on 028 43726 166 there is honestly something to suit all.


Family Owned, Family Managed, Family Values

Family Owned, Family Managed, Family Values • 24 Hour Personal Service • Hour Pre Arranged Funeral Plans 24 Personal Service • Floral Tributes Pre Arranged Funeral Plans • Memorial Repairs

Positive Life is the only charity in Northern Ireland dedicated to supporting people living with or affected by HIV. Positive Life exists to promote a positive future for people living with or affected by HIV.

• • • Floral Tributes – 028 9066 7784 •Belfast Memorial Repairs

799 Lisburn Road, Belfast 330 Woodstock Road, Belfast David Crymble & Sons has been serving the people of South Belfast and

Belfast –&028 9066 7784 David Crymble Sons has been serving the people of Belfast and

communities throughout communities throughoutNorthern NorthernIreland Irelandsince since2004 2004from frompremises premisesatat Crymbleandsons.com 799 Road, Belfast. 799Lisburn Lisburn Road, Belfast. info@crymbleandsons.com

799 Lisburn Road, Belfast We are first a family owned, family run business andarranged are a family serving you. Since opening, funeral services have been throughout 330 Woodstock Road, Belfast ‘Our God will take care of everything you need Phil 4:19’ Since first opening, we have arranged funeral services throughout Ireland. Ireland. We offer different types of funeral plans which may be We offer different types of funeral planstowhich may be pre-planned pre-planned or prepaid. We are happy advise, without charge, onor Crymbleandsons.com prepaid and are happyplan. to advise, without ondesign any existing any existing funeral We also offer acharge, bespoke servicefuneral for plan. We also offer a bespoke design service for new memorials andon can new memorials and can clean, repair or complete inscription work info@crymbleandsons.com clean, repair or complete inscription work on existing memorials. existing memorials.

We have a Funeral home located inpremises East Belfast at you 330 Woodstock will take care of everything need Phil 4:19’ Wealso have recently refurbished our new on the Woodstock Road We work to remove stigma by raising ‘Our God Road, premises have been completely refurbished so thatBelfast. we canThese provide bespoke facilities and an outstanding levelsoofthat awareness of the impact of HIV. we can provide bespoke and anacross outstanding of service to the service to the people andfacilities communities Greaterlevel Belfast. Facilities

We work to educate and challenge the myths that surround HIV. We engage with service users to ensure they have a voice in the policy arena.

people community of East Belfast. includeand a private arrangement room, rest-rooms and funeral church.

We Wepride prideourselves ourselveson onour ourcommitment commitmenttotoour ourclients, clients,their theirfamilies families and andthe thecommunity communityatatlarge largeand, and,totothis thisend; end,we wewill willwork workclosely closelywith local Charities and Community groups. withChurches, local Churches, Charities and Community groups. You Youare aremore morethan thanwelcome welcometotocall callinintotomeet meetwith withDavid, David,Joy JoyororAndrew Crymble, have a coffee view the Andrew Crymble, haveand a coffee andfacilities view thepersonally. facilities personally.

We respond to people’s support needs in a way that creates independence Positive Life services include: • Rapid HIV Testing • Drop-in Service • Counselling • Complementary Therapies • Information Evenings • Social Events • Family Support Telephone: 028 9024 9268

Email:

info@positivelifeni.com

Call in:

20 Derryvolgie Avenue, Belfast BT9 6FN

Family Owned, Family Managed, Family Values

• • • •

24 Hour Personal Service Pre Arranged Funeral Plans Floral Tributes Memorial Repairs

Belfast – 028 9066 7784 799 Lisburn Road, Belfast 330 Woodstock Road, Belfast Crymbleandsons.com info@crymbleandsons.com ‘Our God will take care of everything you need Phil 4:19’

We have installed an automated external defibrillator (AED) at the front of the premises on Woodstock Road for the use of the local community.


TRAVEL__ GREECE

Get your Greek on

GREECE

GREECE HAS BEEN A FIRM favourite from this Northern Ireland since the very beginning of the package holiday market. In 2018 so much has changed and Greece has moved with the times and offers you anything and everything. Jet2 Holidays, Tui Holidays, Thomas Cook and Olympic Holidays are just a few of the Tour operators offering you package holidays from Northern Ireland. If you are a solo or group traveller you may prefer to book your travel plans more independently and airlines such as Easyjet, Ryanair, Norwegian and British Airways are currently offering some fantastic deals on flights to Greek destinations this summer. Greece offers the traveller so much choice from city breaks to the Greek capital of Athens where a warm welcome awaits to the unique small Greek islands only reached by ferry or private speedboats. So if you want to flash the cash this summer then why not see what private beach, Villa or even Yacht you can spend your days lazing around on this summer. If you are on a budget then Airbnb has to be the number one place for you to seek out gay friendly or owned accommodation. Airbnb offers you the best priced accommodation on the islands if you want to share and holiday with likeminded people either in the heart of the action or in more unique locations offering a true Greek welcomes. Gay Greece has become so popular over the past 10 years and the local islands have really taken this market to heart providing dedicated hotels,

86 | GNIMAG.COM

B&B restaurants and clubs targeting the pink pound as its been called. I strongly recommend you have a check on the Pride websites for all the festival dates both in Athens and on the islands. Mykonos Island is by far the most popular and well known Greek gay destination in the Aegean Sea. The island has become a firm favourite for the LGBT markets and the island hosts the annual XLSIOR Festival Mykonos in August. This is very much a dance party festival with intense parties and usually starts at the Elysium Hotel in Mykonos Town. Partly because it ’s an island, and partly because it has become so popular, Mykonos isn’t the cheapest option for a holiday. Food and drink here is all brought in from the mainland – so prices are a little high. Quality is mixed. This, and the gay community’s penchant for moving on to pastures new, contributed to the relative decline of Mykonos as a gay destination in the 90’s and 00’s. Overall, the number of exclusively-gay hotels, guest houses and B&BS has declined since the islands heyday in the 70’s and 80’s. That said, some now say that visitor numbers are on the way up again, as a new generation of gay tourists discover the charms of Gay Mykonos. Despite the ups and downs over the last few decades, Mykonos is still very gay, with thousands of gay men and lesbians flocking to its gorgeous sandy beaches and pretty whitewashed villages every summer – looking for sun, sea and possibly some sex. So gay travellers can feel very at home


TRAVEL__ GREECE in Mykonos town – there are plenty of other gay people around, and no signs of homophobia. You’ve got to try the island of Skiathos Skiathos Island is one of the most Gay Friendly Greek islands which anyone can figure out while visiting. Last year the association of hotels and businesses arranged the 1st International Gay Culture Festival in order to officially open its ‘’doors’’ to the gay community and break the taboos. When you visit Skiathos you find out that a great part of Skiathos tourism is foreign and especially English, Scandinavians, Italians and Germans. Skiathos Island is one of the most Gay Friendly Greek islands which anyone can figure out while visiting. Last year the association of hotels and businesses arranged the 1st International Gay Culture Festival in order to officially open its ‘’doors’’ to the gay community and break the taboos. When you visit Skiathos you find out that a great part of Skiathos tourism is foreign and especially English, Scandinavians, Italians and Germans. Greece offers too many island and too many mainland resorts to start listing them all for you. All I want to say is that Greece is very much open to gay travellers and offers everything from gay owned accommodation and islands marketed specifically to the LGBT market to gay nudist beaches, resorts and LGBT cruises. Many of the traditional Greek destinations served with direct charter or holiday flights from Belfast such as Rhodes, Crete and Corfu now also offer hotels, B&B, bars and clubs aimed at the LGBT market. Because Greece offers so much choice and opportunities my advice is to move around and try out a few of the islands or even book yourself on a

gay only designed tour. They say once you try Greek you never look back and for me Greece has as special place in my heart and I look forward to visiting this truly amazing country again in the near future. Top Tips for Greece in 2018 • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Peak summer temperatures can reach 40 degrees Keep looking at the late deals offers from Belfast & Dublin Try and Book a day flight as some Greek Airports close during the hours of darkness I would recommend Hiring a car for exploring the islands Bring some basic food items with you if on the islands as things can be expensive A key item to bring is a Torch I know it sounds funny but trust me you will thank me. If you like your food spicy then this is not the destination for you Mosquitoes can be an issue on the island so bring plenty repellent Gay apps such as Grinder, Hornet and Scruff are all used widely Cash is the main preferred way to pay but Credit and debit cards are widely accepted. Oh and remember to put your used toilet paper in the bins provided. Remember when in Greece do as the Greeks do and RELAX Finally enjoy

WORDS: GAVYN ANDREWS

GNIMAG.COM | 87


GNI MAG Weddings


GNI WEDDINGS_

JOHN AND MARTIN

SO TELL US HOW YOU MET, WERE YOU SINGLE FOR A LONG TIME BEFORE YOU STARTED DATING?

sit by the sea. HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DATING DID IT TAKE TO POP THE

John:

YES ?

which is where I first met Martin. I had

Martin:

I had messaged him. We hit it off straight

together for 8 months before we got engaged.

looked at Martins profile a few times before away – mostly around our joint love of musical theatre.

Martin:

We arranged to meet up for a coffee at the

Mac and then met twice more in the coming

week. Surprisingly, it was our third date before we had our first kiss. We drove to Bangor to

90 | GNIMAG.COM

on Valentine’s day.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BIG DAY...

QUESTION, WAS IT AN IMMEDIATE

I had been single for a few months, which not

surprisingly led me to set up a Grindr account

important because WE DID NOT get engaged

We had been dating about 4 years, and living It was less of a proposal and more of an

agreement. We chatted about it and both said we wanted to get married. I think it took a

second for it to completely sink in that we had actually got engaged.

John :

We got engaged on 15th February, that date is

John :

We wanted a straight forward easy going day and that is exactly what we got. We had our ceremony and reception in Cabaret Supper Club, which I think was the only venue we actually visited.

We didn’t want to feel under pressure during

the day so we tried to get as many photos done before the ceremony as we could with our

witnesses and our families. We also wanted to

make sure that we got some photos at the Mac – going back to where it all began.

We had a pretty clear, and thankfully agreed,


GNI MAG WEDDINGS__ JOHN AND MARTIN

GNIMAG.COM | 91


Spring ring Sensation tion Wedding Offer Offer

g

Any remaining dates in 2018, dates in 2018, 1st September to December 30th cember 30th

ÂŁ1495 1495 UP

f

TO

4

100

FOR UP TO 100 PERSONS PERSONS

course

Bubbly

4 course Meal Meal

Glass of Bubbly for Toast for To ast

Complimentary Complimentar y Room Rental Room Rental Complimentary Complimentar y Bridal Suite Bridal Suite

Deposit required by eposit required by June 30th 2018 June 30th 2018

75 Belfast Road Contact the events team on the events team on Carrickfergus 028 9335 8806 or Sales@loughshorehotel.com ghshorehotel.com BT38 8PH


GNI MAG WEDDINGS__ JOHN AND MARTIN

“It was less of a proposal and more of an agreement. We chatted about it and both said we wanted to get married. I think it took a second for it to completely sink in that we had actually got engaged.”

vision of what we wanted the day to look

WHAT ABOUT THE FOOD AND DRINK?

dance or a top table and that we didn’t want a

Martin:

by this. We did get married on the stage at

on hand for everything that we needed. The

like. We decided that we weren’t doing a first cake. Our families in particular were baffled

Cabaret though, so I don’t think we could call it low key.

Martin :

We stayed together the night before at

the Merchant hotel which was a gift from

my sister. We headed off to get our beards

trimmed at 9.00am and then straight back to the hotel to watch drag race before getting ready.

The staff at Cabaret were amazing, they were food was beautiful, but the gin was better.

John:

We started with a tomato soup, followed

by chicken and finishing with lemon pie.

Everything was fantastic but I don’t think I ate much of it. We spent most of dinner

chatting to guests and sneaking upstairs for a break.

Our ceremony was simple, but perfect for

DID YOU HAVE A HONEYMOON?

Doherty and my friend Megan sang at our

John:

were our ring bearers.

getting engaged and getting married to make

us. The amazingly talented Ross Anderson ceremony and my nephew and John’s niece We had over 150 guests so it was pretty

packed. Our entertainment was by the Song Birds and DJ Kenny Kane. We also had a

performance from Onya Becks who we both love, an she got my brother in law up to perform as well which was brilliant.

We only really gave ourselves a year between sure that our family were all able to attend.

So we didn’t get to have the honeymoon we

wanted but we are planning that for next year. We are planning to visit New York to see

some broadway shows and also to Vegas. We

are homebirds so going on holidays for more than a week isn’t really appealing to us.

93 | GNIMAG.COM


Mortgages

Helping first time buyers get a foot on the ladder n n

5% deposit mortgages Money gifted from family members accepted as a source of your deposit

Visit santander.co.uk

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE All applications are subject to status and lending criteria. The amount we’ll lend you depends on your individual circumstances, type of property and the amount you borrow e.g. we may need a bigger deposit if you’re buying a flat or new build property. Santander UK plc. Registered Office: 2 Triton Square, Regent’s Place, London, NW1 3AN, United Kingdom. Registered Number 2294747. Registered in England and Wales. www.santander.co.uk. Telephone 0800 389 7000. Calls maybe recorded or monitored. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Our Financial Services Register number is 106054. You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA’s website www.fca.org.uk/register. Santander and the flame logo are registered trademarks. ACRM 3915 JUN 18 H


GNI MAG WEDDINGS__ JOHN AND MARTIN

Martin:

We did go to Gran Canaria for a week where we ran into some people on the plane that

John knew from home and we had a fantastic

off to London to see a show a few days after Pride.

DO YOU LIKE TO KEEP INDEPENDENT?

I like shows like Supernatural and the Flash,

John:

Nigella Lawson. Martin is also an amazing

pretty hectic lives so the time we get off we

I like a lot of trashy TV that Martin doesn’t.

we were hung-over so it worked out well.

Martin is more into Grand Designs and

ARE YOU INTO THE SAME THINGS? WHAT INTERESTS DO YOU HAVE THAT ARE DIFFERENT?

Martin:

We both love musical theatre. We try to get

to as many shows as we can and are heading

DO YOU DO EVERYTHING TOGETHER OR

John :

week. It was February so there was a bit of

rain but that mostly coincided with the days

and Drag Race. We never miss those!

cook, I blame him for my rotund shape.

Martin:

Except for barbequing – John does that.

We do most things together. We both lead like to spend together. I drag Martin to a

lot of things I am sure he would happily not

attend. We have three dogs and a cat that take up a lot of our time!

John:

John: Though we both love Game of Thrones

GNIMAG.COM | 95


HUGH MCCANNS__ ADVERTORIAL

Hugh McCann’s At the foot of the Mournes, this is a boutique hotel you’ll love. COME AND SEE WHY HUGH MCCANN’S Newcastle Co. Down is one the fastest growing Boutique wedding venues in the North! With the option of ‘All inclusive wedding packages’ or Wedding Packages starting from just £995, we cater for all! Hugh McCann’s is a stunning location situated between the Mountains of Mourne and the Irish sea with panoramic views of both, and just 40 minutes from Belfast and an hour and a half from Dublin it is the perfect wedding destination. Only one wedding per day it is the perfect venue with many couples opting to have their ceremony and reception all within the premises of Hugh McCann’s. Choose between our newly renovated Coast Suite or Turlough’s Secret Garden for you ceremony. We pride ourselves as bringing the perfect location for all couples, by offering both civil ceremonies and partnerships. Our Secret Garden with its lavender lined pathways and stunning backdrop of the Mountains is every Photographers dream! Why not bond with the great outdoors and enjoy the simplistic sceneries of Newcastle Co. Down. The building itself has two very distinct function rooms to choose from, the Loft is cosy and intimate with tremendous character, exposed brick and stonework, and a huge open fire suiting wedding parties of up to 120 Guests. The newly renovated Coast Suite is perfectly stunning, with its open planned space, private bar area which is wonderful for larger groups of up to 250 guests. Also, with only one wedding per day, why not use both suites to compliment your day, for depending on your total of guests you could choose to have your drinks reception and dinner upstairs and then dance the night away with a

96

| GNIMAG.COM

larger dance floor in the Coast Suite. We also have boutique accommodation, The Little Haven. With bedrooms showcasing views of Irish Sea or Mourne Mountain it is the perfect destination for holidaymakers and wedding parties alike. The rooms have been beautifully renovated to reflect the charm and sophistication of the seafront building. There is a dedicated luxurious Bridal Suite, complete with high ceilings and spectacular views of the whole area. The Little Haven is a beautiful Georgian House with a NITB 4 star rating. Our Guest rooms are decorated in a contemporary style designed to create a tranquil relaxing atmosphere. All rooms are en-suite, with flat screen TVs, tea and coffee facilities. It is the perfect location for the end of your special day. The Haven has eight bedrooms that can accommodate 17 guests. The accommodation consists of: The Bridal Suite, two double bedrooms, two double superior bedrooms, two twin bedrooms and a family room that has a double and single bed. Hugh McCann’s cater exclusively to the family market with Christening parties, retirement functions with weddings as our main focus. For Wedding enquiries, or to book a viewing contact our wedding coordinators on 028 4372 6622 or email weddings@hughmccanns.com. Plus visit our website www. hughmccanns.com.


Hugh McCann's Boutique Wedding Venue Newcastle Co.Down 028 4372 6622 weddings@hughmccanns.com


COMING OUT__

TONY

COMING OUT Tony McKeever, 29 from Belfast tells us his story.

“I had been dating someone and I wanted people to know because I really liked him.” WHEN DID YOU FIRST REALISE YOU WERE ATTRACTED TO SAME SEX PEOPLE? I was 17 when I first realised but never wanted to admit it to myself. I always assumed it was wrong because of the stigma attached to it, and so I would never tell anybody what I was feeling or thinking about… DID YOU TELL ANYONE AT THE TIME? Yes. I first told my friend Orlaith that I was attracted to a guy who was a mutual friend of ours. Of course, when I did this, I was extremely drunk! So, the next day the anxiety had set in when I realised what I had told her and sent her a text to meet up asap! Turned out that she was the most supportive to me at that time and didn’t make a big deal out of it. WHEN DID YOU ACTUALLY COME OUT? My sister was getting married a few weeks from the day I came out. She was doing wedding invitations and I asked if I was getting a plus one. She told me everyone was and asked me why and I said can I bring a friend to the weeding? She used air quotes and said, ‘’oh, a FRIEND’’ I was furious at this because I thought she had found out something so instead of saying anything, I picked a fight with her and left. I was heading out to the Kremlin that night and I told my brother in-law to be as it was his stag. He asked me why I was going there, and I panicked and just said ‘’because it’s a friendly environment and there are never any fights.” He laughed and just asked if that was the real reason and so I then realised he was asking me if I was Gay. WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO DO IT? When he said that it was a fight or flight moment for me and I just thought screw it and said, Yeah, I’m also meeting a guy. I didn’t know what reaction I would

get so I went to leave, and he pulled me towards him and gave me a big hug. He was crying but I just felt a bit uncomfortable ha-ha! I think I was happy in myself that I had been dating someone and I wanted people to know because I really liked him. HOW DID YOU DO IT? Well after I had told him that and he knew, I was afraid he was going to tell my family, so I asked him not to say anything, that I wanted to be the one to do it. So, the next day, I sat my mum down and told her. I was nearly sick when the words came out because I could tell she was shocked. She was so happy that I had told her and said that I can finally start being me, and of course dare anyone say a bad word about her baby boy! WHAT WAS THE REACTION OF YOUR FAMILY AND CLOSE FRIENDS? Some were shocked, others said they had a feeling, but they wanted me to tell them in my own time. My Dad cried but he said he worried that he thought I would think he wouldn’t love me anymore, and to some extent I did think that. The only worry he had was that life as an adult was hard enough, and that me being gay would make it that little bit harder for me, and with everything going on now, he was right. It’s great as he’s been my number one supporter in all decisions I make whether it be work life or relationships.

hated when I had to hide who I was. I used to watch my brothers and sister be happy in their relationships and I always wondered if that would ever be me, with the person I truly wanted to be with. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS THINKING ABOUT COMING OUT? Do it. Be yourself and live your own truth. What I always say to people who are struggling is that you may be the topic of conversation for a while, but it will pass. By doing this, your allowing yourself to be happy and that’s the most important thing in the world. For example, my big sister later told me that she used to worry herself sick at nights. She was afraid that I would get a girl pregnant and feel then, that I couldn’t come out and would never really be myself and be happy. ANY FUNNY STORIES ABOUT WHEN YOU CAME OUT TO SOMEONE? The day that I told Orlaith about liking our mutual friend and asked her to meet me! When she met me she laughed and said, I knew you’d be having a breakdown today about telling me. She let this go on for about a month and then told me she was also gay. I couldn’t believe it, but I was so happy knowing that as hard as it felt at the time, I wasn’t alone and had someone there who was dealing with the same secret as me.

ANY NEGATIVE REACTIONS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THESE? I was lucky not to have any negative reactions. Some friends and family were shocked, but they were ok with it. To be honest, I was just happy to live my own truth and be me, so I just owned it. HOW HAS COMING OUT AFFECTED YOU? If I’m being honest, it has made me a lot happier. I

98 | GNIMAG.COM

If you’re in distress or despair call Lifeline 0808 808 8000


If you're in crisis or despair or know someone who is, call Lifeline 24/7 on 0808 808 8000 Calls to Lifeline are answered by qualified crisis counsellors who can provide immediate support. Calls are free from landlines and mobiles

(Textphone: 18001 0808 808 8000)


Profile for GNI MAG

GNI MAG Issue 32  

It's Pride season across the globe. In this issue we take a look at Pride beginnings and our LGBT rights and milestones. Our coverstar Ale...

GNI MAG Issue 32  

It's Pride season across the globe. In this issue we take a look at Pride beginnings and our LGBT rights and milestones. Our coverstar Ale...

Advertisement